B-1B Lancers support BALTOPS and Saber Strike exercises

RAF FAIRFORD, U.K. -- B-1B Lancers assigned to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., joined B-52H Stratofortresses and approximately 800 U.S. Air Force Global Strike Airmen at RAF Fairford, June 8 to participate in U.S. European Command’s exercises.

The strategic bomber deployment will support exercises Saber Strike and BALTOPS familiarizing aircrew with air bases and operations in different combatant commands.

“Adding the B-1 provides us the opportunity to show the world we can expertly integrate our bomber’s unique capabilities and demonstrate the U.S. commitment to supporting global security and our ability to launch a credible strategic defense force,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Daniel Diehl, 37th Bomb Squadron commander.

U.S. Strategic Command bomber forces regularly participate in events like BALTOPS and Saber Strike enabling crews to train alongside with NATO allies and regional partners, while exercising the United States’ key bomber capabilities.

“We have a really unique opportunity here. On a routine day-to-day basis we get to train with the land, air and naval forces of both NATO allies and partners in the region,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Timothy Beck, 28th Aircraft Maintenance commander. “By doing this we’re able to validate our safe, secure, effective and ready deterrent bomber force firsthand.”

The responsibility to deter a strategic attack against the U.S. and its allies is USSTRATCOM’s fundamental mission. These missions in conjunction with multinational operations allow both USSTRATCOM, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the participating NATO allied and partner militaries to extend joint warfighting capability through operational training.

“These strategic bomber missions, especially when integrated, provide unparalleled training opportunities for our forces to work together in a joint environment,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Jared Kennish, 322nd Air Expeditionary Group commander. “Our bomber forces routinely conduct these type of engagements with allies and partners…strengthening our capabilities and ensuring our ability to prepare for contingencies and rapidly response to crises.”

The participation of bomber forces in exercises such as BALTOPS and Saber Strike demonstrate the ability of the U.S. bomber force to provide a credible, flexible, and always-ready capability to respond to a variety of potential threats and situations, both conventionally and strategically, when called to do so.