B-52 Stratofortress conducts joint training during Northern Edge 21

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Louis Vega
  • Pacific Air Forces

A B-52H Stratofortress bomber flew from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex to conduct integration training with U.S. fighter jets during a Northern Edge Bomber Task Force mission May 7, 2021.

The B-52H bomber is deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility to meet Pacific Air Forces training objectives. Readiness and resilience of the PACAF protects the homeland, deters aggression, and ensures the command’s ability to fight and win if needed.

“The objective was to establish TTP’s [Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures] for advanced threat environments furthering the ability to employ U.S. Navy and Marine Corps assets,” said Capt. Phil ‘Rave’ Rowley, 2nd Operations Support Squadron, chief mission planner during the BTF. “These missions make us a more dynamic force and ensures joint interoperability.”

This was the second mission for the deployed BTF in support of Northern Edge. NE-21 will continue through May 14 and provides high end realistic war fighter training, develops and improves joint interoperability, and enhances the combat readiness of participating forces.

“We have to get reps as a team,” said Lt. Col. Jarred Prier, 20th Bomb Squadron and BTF commander. “It’s like basketball, sure I can practice free throws by myself , but there’s nothing like running drills with the rest of the team. That is what we’re doing with Northern Edge.”

Bomber Task Force deployments have been a regular occurrence since 2014, providing U.S. Strategic Command an opportunity to evaluate and improve the readiness of strategic assets within the Indo-Pacific region. These BTFs provide a persistent, long-term bomber presence in the Indo-Pacific theater and around the globe.

The B-52H Stratofortress is a long-range, nuclear and conventional heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions. The B-52H can fly at high, subsonic speeds at altitudes reaching 50,000 feet, with an unrefueled combat range in excess in 8,800 miles, and can carry precision guided ordnance with worldwide precision navigation.