BUFF in the Top End

A B-52 bomber touched down at RAAF Darwin, Australia, for a joint training exercise with the Royal Australian Air Force on Monday, RAAF officials announced. “This purposed event is to highlight the intent for increased US Air Force training with the RAAF” following the Defense Department’s enhanced force posture agreement signed with Australia earlier this year, according to a Pacific Air Forces release. The B-52s will simulate strike missions over the nearby Delamere Training Range in Australia’s northern territory, and practice intercepts with RAAF F-18 fighters of 75 Squadron flying from neighboring RAAF Tindal, according to PACAF. Air Force F-16s deployed to Tindal for Australia’s largest air exercise—Exercise Pitch Black, for the first time in many years, this summer. The B-52, which redeployed from Andersen AFB, Guam, marked the third bomber deployment to Darwin since 2010, and “future rotations are still under discussion,” according to the release. The bomber arrived in Australia on Dec. 8.