Two B-52Hs left Barksdale AFB, La., Feb. 1 on a global power training mission called Operation Coronet Dragon that will bring them to Andersen AFB, Guam, and back. On the initial leg of the journey, the two bombers, assigned to Barksdale’s 2nd Bomb Wing, flew nonstop via multiple aerial refuelings across the Atlantic Ocean, over the Mediterranean Sea and into the Middle East region en route to an air base in the Indian Ocean. From there, they planned to fly to Andersen and then start the trip back home. Coronet Dragon is designed to test the ability of the Air Force’s bomber fleet to launch from stateside bases, fly nonstop through multiple geographic theaters, conduct precision strikes on enemy targets via simulated attacks, and safely recover at various locations around the world. (AFCENT release)
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.