B-52s Support NATO Maritime Drills

B-52 bombers are flying long-range sorties in support of NATO naval forces during Exercise Noble Justification in the Atlantic and Mediterranean this month, US Strategic Command announced. “The B-52s will perform two long-range sorties from the continental United States to the US European Command area of operations and back,” STRATCOM spokesman Maj. Martin O’Donnell told Air Force Magazine on Oct. 22. “The participation of US bombers … was specifically requested by NATO leadership,” STRATCOM commander Adm. Cecil Haney stated in a command release. “It is important that we continue to train our strategic bomber force in a variety of joint environments, to ensure we remain proficient in key skill sets,” Haney added. Air Force B-2s and B-52s deployed for exercises in Europe, staging from RAF Fairford, England, earlier this summer. Europe-based KC-135s and F-16s are also taking part in the 13,000-strong international exercise, which runs Oct. 13-26.