Two US strategic heavy bomber planes arrived at RAF Fairford yesterday (6 October).
More B-1B Lancers – possibly another two – are expected to arrived at the airfield on the Wiltshire-Gloucestershire border today (7 October).
The B-1Bs, supporting equipment, and personnel from the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Dyess Air Forces Base, Texas, arrived at RAF Fairford on Wednesday to execute the long-planned Bomber Task Force mission.
The mission is a regularly scheduled U.S. European Command and U.S. Strategic Command (USEUCOM) joint mission series.
Dozens of aviation enthusiasts, most equipped with cameras, gathered outside the airfield perimeter to capture images of the incredible planes.
USEUCOM has been conducting BTF missions since 2018, which have consisted of rotations of B-1B Lancers, B-52 Stratofortresses, and, most recently, B-2 Spirits. The series of U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa missions allow U.S. bomber crews to deploy to unfamiliar airfields and integrate with a range of coalition allies and partners to enhance readiness.
“BTF missions amplify our coalition reach and project our collective airpower across theaters,” said Gen Jeff Harrigian, USAFE-AFAFRICA commander.
He added: “By training and integrating with our allies and partners, we are expanding our ability to adapt to challenges and counter adversaries in the global security environment.”
The bombers were escorted into the theatre by UK fighters as they ascended into the RAF airfield.
Strategic bomber missions within the USAFE-AFAFRICA theatres demonstrate the U.S. Air Force’s unique capability to rapidly deploy and integrate with NATO allies and coalition partners while providing necessary training to the joint force.