MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. —
U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers and Airmen from the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, operating out of Morón Air Base, Spain, returned home at the end of March.
For the past five weeks, the world famous ‘Bomber Barons’ of the 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron executed Bomber Task Force missions across the United States European Command area of responsibility and beyond. The squadron participated in more than 30 missions, alongside allies and partners across Europe, Africa and the U.S. Central Command AOR. The deployment was capped off by a BTF mission in the U.S. South Command AOR, in which they executed operations aimed at strengthening regional relations and improving interoperability.
“We flew a variety of B-52H mission sets, everything from close air support, stand off weapons, mining, mid-air interdiction and dynamic targeting,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Cangealose, director of operations for the Barons and bomber pilot. “We have accomplished every mission we set out to accomplish and each of those has incorporated more than one of our Partners or Allies throughout the region.”
Alongside the 23rd EBS, Airmen from the 5th Bomb Wing including the 23rd Aircraft Maintenance Unit, 5th Operations Support Squadron, and 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron spent the duration of the 5 weeks providing support for the flying mission. Their contributions highlighted the capability to maintain a high state of readiness proficiency and global strike capability anytime, anywhere.
“We brought the squadron out here to Morón because of the access it affords us to multiple areas of responsibility, which increases our ability to integrate with our Allies and Partners,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Loucks, commander of the 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron. “We flew all mission types with the intent of training our air crew and to hone our relationship with our NATO Partners and Allies and of our partner nations.”
The U.S. routinely and visibly demonstrates commitment to our Allies and Partners through the global employment of our military forces. BTF missions familiarize aircrew with air bases and operations in different geographic combatant command areas of operations. By executing BTF operations and engagements with our Allies and Partners, the U.S. strengthens our shared commitment to global security and stability.