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Deployed bombers complete first multi-location, simultaneous sortie

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Erica Stewart
  • 36th Operations Group Public Affairs
Four B-52 Strofortresses, and 26 crewmembers assigned to the Expeditionary Bomb Squadron made history at 10:15 a.m. local time March 6 as they simultaneously hit targets at four separate locations throughout the Pacific.

Deployed to Andersen as part of U.S. Pacific Command's continuous bomber presence flight crews logged 64 hours to drop eight simulated and two live weapons on four different training ranges.

"Flying four sorties to different regions of the area of responsibility with simultaneous times over target demonstrates our capability to strike anytime and anywhere, with overwhelming firepower," said Lt. Col. Patrick Matthews, 96th EBS commander. "It epitomizes the value of our commitment to security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region."

Although bombers routinely fly missions throughout the Pacific, the March 6 mission is a first for any bomber squadron deployed to Andersen.

"The coolest part of this historic mission is when we turned off target because I knew at that exact moment my friends were all over the world doing the same thing," said Capt. Paul Goossen, one of the four aircraft mission commanders.

After extensive coordination between 96th EBS and Andersen personnel, the long-range bombers and their crews, departed Andersen on a staggered schedule in order to arrive at the same time at the four locations within an 11,200-square-mile perimeter.
"This sortie became a reality through the detailed planning efforts made by 36th Wing staff and our operations planners," said Colonel Matthews. "Additionally, the total team efforts of maintenance to prepare the jets, munitions to load the weapons, support to protect the flight line and provide meals, fuels to give us the gas, tankers to give us more gas, and the 36th Operational Support Squadron to run the airfield and provide weather forecasts allowed this distinctive sortie to become a success."

"The Quad-Lightning mission was the best demonstration of presence and reach that I've seen in 17 months of continuous bomber presence at Andersen," Brig. Gen. Douglas Owens, 36th Wing commander.