Delivering assurance: tri-bombers sync efforts in Alaska frontier

Written by: Tech. Sgt. Heather Salazar, 509th Bomb Wing

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Elements of three different bomber task forces from Air Force Global Strike Command integrated in a joint mission at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, July 18-19.

Bomber task force missions, or BTFs, are cross-command missions directed by U.S. Strategic Command.
“As a force provider, how we deliver bomber airpower has a definite strategic impact to all operations across the spectrum of conflict,” said Maj. Gen. Andrew Gebara, 8th Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander.

Together, U.S. Strategic Command works regularly with other geographic commands to conduct training and missions to help maintain global stability and security. By demonstrating the capability to operate in different environments, Airmen are provided an opportunity to prepare for a variety of scenarios.

This capability is a component of agile combat employment, or ACE, and is a key operating concept for how the U.S. Air Force meets current challenges.

“The bombers seen here today are proof of our reach and flexibility as they arrived from different areas of responsibility to a location we do not routinely occupy,” said Gebara, who observed the onsite bomber teams.

For this mission, Airmen employed the bomber ACE concept to generate bombers from widespread home stations: Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, and Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The bomb wings converged at a notional forward operating base in Alaska where they synchronized efforts as a force package to practice interoperability and mass bombers. The expanding operational teaming between all three U.S. bomber platforms gives theater commanders a wider range of options and more flexibility in employing B-2, B-1, and B-52 in future warfighting conditions.

Representing the air-leg of the U.S. nuclear triad, the strategic bomber force is the most agile and visible leg of the triad and are prepared 24/7 to deter attacks against the U.S. and our Allies and partners.

B-52H Stratofortress assigned to the 69th Bomb Squadron, from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, lands at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, as part of a bomber Agile Combat Employment exercise on July 17, 2023. ACE tests our readiness to confront uncertainty and ensure we maintain a safe, secure, effective and ready bomber force.
U.S. Air Force photos I Senior Airman Zachary Wright

“Routine bomber missions enable crew readiness to employ lethal capabilities at a moment’s notice,” said Gen. Ken Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces commander. “And we do this alongside our Allies and partners to demonstrate a shared commitment to stability in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Bombers routinely operate within the Indo-Pacific region, the fastest growing region on the planet, to strengthen our commitment to our Allies and partners. By maintaining a proactive and reactive operational scheme, the bomber force can maneuver to meet threats and continue to generate combat power to mitigate and deter adversarial efforts.
As a scalable force ready for world-wide employment, the bomber force can be employed as a single bomber or up to a fleet of dozens, to meet and augment operations in a variety of situations.

“Pacific Air Forces routinely exercises the ACE concept to ensure we can move forces fluidly across theaters of operations,” said Wilsbach. “To enhance that capability within our bomber force is crucial to ensuring we can provide a credible, effective deterrent and respond to any crisis across the globe.”

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command actively implements a combat credible deterrence strategy capable of denying our adversaries sustained air and sea dominance by posturing the Joint Force to win before fighting begins. Operating together, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Strategic Command, along with regional Allies and partners, are ready to fight and win, if required.

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