Barksdale B-52 unit arrives
By Master Sgt. Art Webb, 36th Operations Group Public Affairs
/ Published May 28, 2007
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- More than 300 Airmen from the 20th Bomb Squadron, at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., will arrive on Guam Saturday to begin a four-month deployment here.
The 20th BS is replacing the 96th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, also from Barksdale. The expeditionary warriors of the 20th EBS are part of a rotational bomber presence aimed at enhancing regional security.
Both squadrons deployed here to provide the U.S. Pacific Command commander a continuous bomber presence in the region and help maintain stability and provide security for the Asia-Pacific region.
"Our mission has been redefined to deliver sovereign options for the defense of America and its global interests - to fly, fight and win in air, space, and cyberspace," said Col. Damian McCarthy, 36th Operations Group commander.
The U.S. Pacific Command is committed to that mission by promoting peace and security in the region, and deploying B-52s to Guam is a big part of that effort.
"Bomber squadrons are key players in the U.S. Air Force's mission providing matchless combat power, on time, anytime, anywhere," said Colonel McCarthy.
While at Andersen, the primary mission of the 20th EBS will be to gain experience flying and generating aircraft from a forward-operating base.
"This deployment will allow us to focus on the Pacific theater and give us great joint training opportunities as we evaluate our capabilities during exercises", said Lt. Col. Thomas Hesterman, 20th EBS commander.
According to PACAF officials, Andersen is ideal for sustaining and projecting air power forward to deter and dissuade any potential aggressor in the Western Pacific.
"As America's Airmen, we are prepared to dominate all three of our warfighting domains across the spectrum of conflict for the joint team," Colonel Hesterman added.
The rotational bomber presence at Andersen is aimed at demonstrating U.S.
commitment to the Pacific region, and providing integrated training opportunities for deployed Airmen.
Six aircraft and approximately 300 Airmen will be deployed here through September. This will be the seventh rotation of bombers into Andersen since the schedule began in 2004.
Movement of U.S. Air Force bombers into the Western Pacific has been ongoing since March 2004 as the Pacific Command adjusts its force posture to maintain a prudent deterrent capability. The current unit deployment demonstrates U.S. commitment to the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.
The outgoing 96 EBS team produced nearly 200 B-52 sorties, flew in numerous joint and coalition exercises and dropped hundreds of munitions. The Airmen used the B-52 Stratofortress bomber's range and versatility to recently train with the Royal Thai Air Force in air intercept exercises and then with U.S. Marine and RTAF attack controllers in close air support exercises. The 20 EBS Airmen will also have the opportunity to demonstrate global reach and global power from Guam in training opportunities and exercises during their four-month deployment.