Defense

August 6, 2012

B-52s provide RIMPAC 2012 air capability

Tags:
by 2nd Lt. Sarah Bergstein
Andersen AFB, Guam

A B-52 Stratofortress is parked on the Andersen airfield for pre-flight inspection at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, July 31, 2012. The 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Airmen make sure the B-52 is ready for the flight in support of the Rim of the Pacific Exercise.

Members from the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., participated in nine sorties in support of this year’s Rim of the Pacific exercise July 11 to 31 in and around training areas surrounding the Hawaiian islands.

Six B-52s from the 69th EBS, accompanied by more than 200 Airmen, are currently deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, in support of U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence to maintain security and stability in the Western Pacific.

“RIMPAC reminds us how vital it is to train with our fellow U.S. forces as well as our international partners around the globe, enabling us to work together and respond effectively if needed,” said Col. Randy Kaufman, 36th Operations Group commander. “The 69th EBS’ participation in RIMPAC, not only shows their ability to support PACOM’s CBP, but also the global readiness they bring to the fight.”

TSgt. Ross Haverstock checks a B-52 Stratofortress aircraft forms at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, July 3, 2012. The 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron airmen make sure the B-52 is ready for the flight in support of the Rim of the Pacific Exercise.

RIMPAC is a biennial multinational maritime exercise held by commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet. Beginning in 1971 and now in its 23rd year, RIMPAC boasts 22 participating nations, 42 surface ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and more than 25,000 personnel.

Scheduled from June 27 to Aug. 9, the theme of RIMPAC 2012 is, “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.”

“Our participation in a multi-national exercise like RIMPAC affords us the opportunity to improve interoperability and strengthen relationship with our regional partners,” said Lt. Col. Doug Gosney, 69th EBS commander. “Additionally, our aircrews get first-rate training and gain invaluable experience by operating in this dynamic, joint coalition environment. RIMPAC provided an unmatched training opportunity for my aviators.”

A1C Bruce Brimm, 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, checks the panels underneath the wing of a B-52 Stratofortress at Andersen Air Force Base, Gaum, July 31, 2012. The 36th EAMXS airmen make sure the B-52 is ready for the flight in support of the Rim of the Pacific Exercise.

The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions. The primary objective of bomber participation in this year’s RIMPAC exercise was to enhance crew proficiency and promote international military cooperation.

“These long-duration sorties helped simulate our real-world taskings,” said Gosney. “Employing with other Air Force assets, our sister services and the nations of the Pacific theater afforded us a unique training opportunity.”

Averaging 20 to 22-hour sorties, each with two air refuelings, the 69th EBS flew over 180 hours from Guam to the Hawaiian airspace and back.

“We started with a crawl, walk, run mentality,” said Maj. Christopher Morris, 69th EBS mission planning cell team chief. “At first, our participation focused at the unit level and then moved into force-integration training where we worked with other players. In the final phase of RIMPAC, we integrated B-52s into a robust regional combat scenario.”

In the first phase of unit level training, targets are generally pre-planned and aircrews know exactly what to look for. In the force-integration phase and the final combat scenario, targets are unknown, meaning aircrews not only have to locate their targets, but also determine how to strike and with what weapons to strike.

“This demonstrates the flexibility of the B-52 and our aircrews,” said Morris. “Our joint-service commanders know they can count on the B-52 to deliver bombs on target 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year–worldwide-and in this case, from more than 3,000 miles away.”

The 69th EBS’ first two sorties for this year’s RIMPAC, July 11 and 13, supported a high-priority MINEX, a low-level mine-laying exercise designed to train the Navy’s counter-mine specialists.

“We’re working with Navy fleet to train in aerial interdiction of maritime targets,” said Morris. “This includes gathering intelligence, honing our skills in low-level flying, providing close air support and simulating strikes when targets are found.”

SSgt. Oliver Johnson, 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, holds the flashlight while A1C Bruce Brimm, 36th EAMXS crew chief, inspects the exterior of a B-52 Stratofortress at Andersen Air Force Base, Gaum, July 31, 2012. The 36th EAMXS airmen make sure the B-52 is ready for the flight in support of the Rim of the Pacific Exercise.

Exercises in the region are ideal forums to showcase U.S. defense aircraft and equipment, work hand-in-hand with regional partners and contribute toward interoperability with other countries.

Movement of U.S. Air Force bombers into the Western Pacific has been ongoing since March 2004, as the U.S. Pacific Command adjusts its force posture to maintain a prudent deterrent capability.

Rotational bomber deployments to Guam help maintain stability and security in the Western Pacific, while allowing units to become familiar with operating in the Pacific Theater.

“As a Navy-centric exercise, we’re thrilled about the air capabilities that our B-52s were able to provide in support of RIMPAC,” said Kaufman. “There’s something to be said about U.S. Air Force B-52s flying with Marine Corps F-18s alongside Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18s and P-3s as well as Japanese F-2s and F-15Js.”

As the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC is a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.

Other U.S. Air Force aircraft participating in RIMPAC 2012 include: KC-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster IIIs, KC-135 Stratofortresses, E-3 Sentries, A-10 Thunderbolt IIIs, F-15 Eagles, F-16 Fighting Falcons and HH-60G Pave Hawks.

“RIMPAC is a testament to the mutual understanding and respect we gain from exercising with regional partners, all working together on a number of different and potential operations and missions,” said Kaufman. “We look forward to participating again in 2014 and bringing an enhanced portfolio of new capabilities.”

SSgt. Oliver Johnson, 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, checks the gages on a B-52 Stratofortress at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, July 31, 2012. The 36th EAMXS airmen make sure the B-52 is ready for the flight in support of the Rim of the Pacific Exercise.

A1C Bruce Brimm, 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, checks the tire pressure on the B-52 Stratofortress during a pre-flight inspection at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, July 31, 2012. The 36th EAMXS airmen make sure the B-52 is ready for the flight in support of the Rim of the Pacific Exercise.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

F-35 Lightning II costs drop, report shows

A recent account of F-35 Lightning II aircraft program costs shows decreases, the Air Force’s F-35 program executive officer told reporters in a media roundtable March 24, 2015. Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan, citing this year’s selected acquisition report on the aircraft, called the roundtable to clarify cost and performance facts. He also acknowledged the...
 
 
Navy photograph by Monica McCoy

Navy conducts production acceptance test of Tomahawk missile

Navy photograph by Monica McCoy Members of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division team at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head prepare a Tomahawk missile for a functional ground test at the Large Motor Test Fa...
 
 
af-launch1

9th-generation GPS satellite blasts off from ‘The Cape’

ULA photograph A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket launches the GPS IIF-9 satellite for the Air Force March 25, 2015, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex-37.   The 45th Space Wing, Cape Cana...
 

 
JSF1

Edwards joint maintenance team completes significant JSF propulsion verification event

Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds A joint team of U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy maintainers, DOD employees and Pratt and Whitney contractors work on an F135 engine March 17 as part of a week-long to provide verified tec...
 
 

F-35 aircraft costs drop, report shows

A recent account of F-35 Lightning II aircraft program costs shows decreases, the Air Force’s F-35 program executive officer told reporters in a media roundtable March 24. Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan, citing this year’s selected acquisition report on the aircraft, called the roundtable to clarify cost and performance facts in the latest...
 
 
Army photograph

First unit fields Apache-Shadow combo

Army photograph An RQ-7B Shadow v2 prepares to launch. Manned-unmanned operations using helicopters linked with unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, have been used by the Army for a number of years. However, no single unit has ev...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>