USAF press release: By Senior Airman J.T. Armstrong, 5th Bomb Wing Public Affairs, January 31
RAF FAIRFORD, England — Approximately 300 Airmen, four B-52H Stratofortress aircraft and support equipment assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, returned home from their deployment to RAF Fairford, England, Jan. 30.
While deployed, the 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron flew 36 sorties without a cancellation, in support of U.S. European Command’s bomber task force.
“During our time here, the 23rd EBS integrated with 13 nations across the region, from the Baltics in the north, to Spain and Italy in the south,” said Lt. Col. Michael Maginness, 23rd EBS commander. “We truly demonstrated the capabilities of strategic bombers here at RAF Fairford.”
The January 2018 bomber task force deployment included a historic joint-effort between the Bomber Barons and Lithuanian special forces.
“We were honored to be the first aircraft to employ inert air-to- ground munitions in Lithuania, controlled by Lithuanian joint terminal attack controllers,” said Maginness.
In addition to the aggressive operations tempo, 23rd EBS Airmen undertook multiple engagement opportunities to include hosting civic leaders and local aviation enthusiasts clubs, as well as meeting with senior leaders from the U.S. Air Force and the Royal Air Force.
“The U.S. has a long history of operating Eighth Air Force bombers out of the U.K.,” said Maginness. “It’s fitting that in 2018, we are still integrated with our great partners, the British, operating Eighth AF bombers out of RAF Fairford.”
Photo caption: Two B-52 Stratofortress aircraft, assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing, take flight from RAF Fairford, England, en route to their home station at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., on Jan 30, 2018. A total of four bombers deployed to Europe with the purpose to exercise a state of readiness at United States Air Forces in Europe’s forward operating location for strategic bombers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor T. McBride)