B-52, B-1s Kick Off “Ample Strike”

A B-52 from the 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, La., has touched down at RAF Fairford, England, for a NATO-led close air support exercise. The B-52 was previously deployed to Slovakia, and will now fly in “Ample Strike,” an exercise led by the Czech Republic that kicked off Wednesday. The exercise focuses on training joint terminal attack controllers, air crew, and commanders of ground units on close air support, according to a NATO release. Two B-1s will join the B-52 and operate out of Fairford, along with two KC-135s and five AH-64 Apaches deployed to the Czech Republic. International participation includes aircraft from Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic. Last year’s exercise included more than 1,000 sorties, with this year’s total expected to be higher.