U.S. Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa
Published June 15, 2020
From left, the British Royal Navy Duke-class frigate HMS Kent (F78), the Supply-class combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6), the Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), the Royal Danish Navy Absalon-class support ship HDMS Esbern Snare (L17) and the Swedish Royal Navy Visby-class corvette HMS Karlstad (K35) sail in formation in the Baltic Sea while a U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress long-range bomber flies overhead during exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2020, June 15, 2020. BALTOPS is the premier annual maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic Region, marking the 49th year of one of the largest exercises in Northern Europe enhancing flexibility and interoperability among allied and partner nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Damon Grosvenor)
B-52s conduct interoperability training with aircraft from the Baltic Air Policing mission during a long-range, long duration strategic Bomber Task Mission throughout Europe and the Baltic region, June 15, 2020. Participation in multinational exercises enhances our professional relationships and improves overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis. (Courtesy photo by Estonian Air Force)
Two B-52H Stratofortresses from the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, conducted a long-range, long duration strategic Bomber Task Force mission throughout Europe and the Baltic region, June 15, 2020, while also supporting the Baltic Operations exercise.
This is the 49th iteration of the BALTOPS exercise and the premiere maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic region. Air and maritime assets from 19 NATO allied and partner nations will participate in live training events that include air defense, anti-submarine warfare, maritime interdiction and mine countermeasure operations.
In support of Bomber Task Force Europe, a B-52 conducted integration and interoperability training with British Royal Air Force Typhoons and French Mirage 2000s assigned to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission. The bomber also overflew Tallinn, Estonia, Riga, Latvia, and Vaindloo Island in the Baltic Sea.
A B-52 then conducted a low-approach over the USS Mount Whitney, the flagship and command ship of the United States Sixth Fleet in support of the BALTOPS exercise.
“Long-range strategic bomber missions to the Baltic region are a visible demonstration of our capability to extend deterrence globally,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander. “Our participation in BALTOPS also provides an opportunity for us to strengthen relationships with our NATO allies and partners while operating in the air and sea domains.”
A KC-135 Stratotanker from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England, enabled the B-52s to complete the round trip from Minot Air Force Base.
Participation in multinational exercises enhances our professional relationships and improves overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis.
Continuing coverage of this deployment will be available on this website, and on DVIDS hub at: https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/bombertaskforceeurope.