Sequenced Bomber Missions to Australia Showcase Alliance

A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bomber takes off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on a higher headquarters-directed Continuous Bomber Presence mission in support of exercise Pitch Black 18 in Australia's Northern Territory Aug. 6, 2018 (HST). Bilateral training between the United States and allies like Australia increases interoperability and strengthens our long-standing military-to-military partnerships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Quail)
August 24, 2018

Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bombers assigned to the 96th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, conducted two sequential bilateral training missions to Australia as part of exercise Pitch Black 18.

Pitch Black, a biennial exercise designed to enhance flight operations and proficiency between participating nations, provided an opportunity for U.S. bombers to integrate with Australia’s defense force to maintain the proficiency between the two nations. These routine training missions were in support of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence Program.

“The 96th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron is excited to be participating in exercise Pitch Black,” said Air Force Maj. Jonathan Radtke, 96th EBS mission planner. “This training is crucial to our allies’ interoperability and stability within the Indo-Pacific theater. This realistic training gives our crews the unique opportunity to improve their tactics, techniques, and procedures in one of the largest training airspaces in the world.”

A B-52 Stratofortress from the 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., launches July 2, 2013, from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The deployment to Guam is for an ongoing military effort to provide a continuous bomber presence in the Western Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Marianique Santos)

During the missions, the B-52s integrated with Royal Australian Air Force and other Australian forces and conducted training Aug. 6 and 13 near Royal Australian Air Force Base Tyndall, Australia.

U.S.-Australian ‘Mateship’

Sequenced missions with Australia highlight the 100 years of “mateship” between the two nations, emphasizing bonds that date back to World War I. The U.S. and Australia have a longstanding history of maintaining regional stability by demonstrating the strength of their alliance and military-to-military partnership.

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress leads a formation of aircraft including two Polish air force F-16 Fighting Falcons, four U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons, two German Eurofighter Typhoons and four Swedish Gripens over the Baltic Sea, June 9, 2016. The formation was captured from a KC-135 from the 434th Air Refueling Wing, Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana as part of exercise BALTOPS 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Erin Babis)

The routine employment of Continuous Bomber Presence missions is in accordance with international law and is vital to the principles that are the foundation of the rules-based global operating system, officials said, adding that these missions are intended to maintain the readiness of U.S. forces and are a key component to improving combined and joint service interoperability.