More than 250 airmen and six B-52H bombers from the 23rd Bomb Squadron will return home to Minot AFB, N.D., at the end of the month after a five-month deployment to Andersen AFB, Guam. They will be replaced by airmen and B-2A bombers of the 13th BS from Whiteman AFB, Mo. During their time on Guam, the Minot airmen have flown more than 1,050 hours and dropped more than 440,000 pounds of ordnance in training exercises with Marine Corps and Navy assets and with Australian and Japanese forces. They also participated in a Red Flag-Alaska exercise. Noteworthy is the unit’s launch success rate during this time. “Our success rate up to this point is 98 percent, which is almost beyond belief,” said Lt. Col. Gordon Geissler, commander of the deployed contingent. Indeed only four missions out of 171 were cancelled thus far due to operational or maintenance reasons throughout the five months. The US maintains a continual bomber presence on the island to deter aggression in the Pacific region by rotating bomber units. (Andersen report by SrA. Ryan Whitney)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.