US Air Force Boeing B52 Stratofortress have begun to arrive at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire ahead of a “long-planned” training mission with NATO allies.
Four of the long-range heavy bombers arrived at the base today with up to four more potentially arriving in the coming days.
The timing of the deployment is likely to be seen as a show of force with tensions rising as Russia stands poised to invade Ukraine with around 1000,000 troops on its border.
Speaking about the deployment, The commander of the US Air Force in Europe (USAFE), General Jeff Harrigian, said on Thursday: “With an ever-changing global security environment, it’s critical that our efforts with our allies and partners are unified.
“We’re in Europe training and collaborating together, because consistent integration is how we strengthen our collective airpower.”
The current deployment is from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
RAF Fairford is leased to the US Air Force and is used as a Forward Operating Base for aircraft deployments to the UK including B52 and B1 Bombers.
The base is also home to the Royal International Air Tattoo and after two years of the event not happening due to COVID, the organisers will have one eye on the Ukraine crisis!