Defense

August 24, 2012

B-52s bring persistent airpower to Exercise Pitch Black 12

Tags:
by A1C Marianique Santos
Andersen AFB, Guam

Members of the 69th Expeditionary Bomber Squadron, deployed from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., perform pre-flight checks on a B-52 Stratofortress aircraft to participate in Exercise Pitch Black at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Aug. 2, 2012.

The 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., took to the skies of Australia’s Northern Territory Aug. 2 to 18 as the lone U.S. Air Force unit flying in Exercise Pitch Black 12.

With more than 2,200 personnel and up to 100 participating military aircraft, Exercise Pitch Black 12 is the Royal Australian Air Force’s largest and most complex air exercise.

From July 27 to Aug. 17, the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, Australian Defense Force, Royal Thai Armed Forces, Singapore Armed Forces, New Zealand Defense Force, Malaysian Armed Forces, French Armed Forces, British Armed Forces, Indonesian National Armed Forces and a component operating under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization participated in the exercise.

The 69th EBSs’ participation in Pitch Black 12 is critical to satisfying their mission objectives in support of Pacific Air Forces’ continuous bomber presence.

As part of the mission, bombers participate in exercises while deployed in order to showcase both U.S. offensive and defensive capabilities, engage with the citizens of regional partners and ultimately contribute toward interoperability with other countries.

“In traversing the Pacific Ocean for large-scale exercises such as Rim of the Pacific and Pitch Black 12, our crews hone their skills, as well as assure our allies of the United States’ commitment to the region,” said Capt. Timothy May, 69th EBS weapons and tactics flight commander and bomber liaison officer representing the squadron for planning and briefings in Australia for Pitch Black 12.

“It shows that the United States maintains a credible strike capability in the region at all times,” he said.

A B-52 Stratofortress from the 69th Expeditionary Squadron deployed from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., participates in Exercise Pitch Black at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Aug. 2, 2012.

For more than 20 years, the Royal Australian Air Force has conducted the biennial Pitch Black Exercises as major training activities, providing participating nations the opportunity to obtain useful military training and the chance to strengthen ties with regional partners.

Captain May said that integrating into Pacific Command joint and coalition exercises, operations and training provided aircrews unique training opportunities in support of the continuous bomber presence.

“This exercise afforded my colleagues and I a tremendous opportunity to learn and expand our skills as aviators,” said May. “Communicating and planning with our Pacific allies provided a unique learning opportunity that bolsters cultural and professional relationships among regional partners.”

During the exercise, the B-52 displayed unique capabilities that make it a commodity in such large-scale air exercises. Along with its ordnance capacity, the B-52 brings a long-endurance capability, which translates directly to persistent airpower.

“The B-52 brings a volume of ordnance that smaller, tactical assets cannot match,” said May. “In multiple cases during the exercise, a single B-52 covered nearly 50 percent of its team’s targets in given scenarios.”

The exercise required participants to conduct offensive counter air and defensive counter air missions launched from RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal.

Pitch Black 12 utilized massive training areas that featured realistic threat simulations and targets. These training areas accommodated larger aircraft formations and provided a formidable obstacle course for the aircraft and crews of participating nations.

“During the exercise we integrated into flying formations with the other nations,” said Maj. Christopher Morris, 69th EBS mission planning cell team chief. “On a training day, we can have Indonesian or Taiwanese aircraft escort us to the target and protect us from the opposing targets. Such formations promote good integration with our regional partners’ air forces.”

May said that the exercise gave participants opportunities to practice operating in high threat environments against very capable adversaries.

“With six nations participating we receive different perspectives from regional air forces, from mission planning to execution to debrief,” said May. “The collective efforts of all six nations bring an impressive array of aircraft and skills to the fight.”

The 69th EBS participation in Pitch Black 12 is only one among multiple exercises where in the B-52 has represented the U.S. Air Force and its air-strike capability.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to integrate with our allies through participation in Pitch Black 12,” said Lt. Col. Doug Gosney, 69th EBS commander. “Our B-52 bomber force and aircrew maintain a high level of readiness across all mission sets. Participation in these types of exercises allow us to hone our skills even further while simultaneously forging and strengthening relationships with our friends and allies.”

Along with experiences gained and reinforced international ties, the 69th EBS continues to support the CBP mission and take part in exercises that develop greater interoperability, strengthen regional peace, and promote stability and prosperity within the Asia-Pacific Region.

“I am extremely proud of our bombers and crew force for their accomplishments and participation in regional activities in the Pacific,” said Gosney. “Their service and dedication bring unique capabilities to these coalition and joint exercises as part of the continuous bomber presence mission and is a testament to the fact that the Air Force stands ready for the call and can successfully accomplish all assigned missions.”

 




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


 
 

 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 
 

TSgt promotion release delayed to allow system validation

Technical sergeant promotion selection results, originally scheduled for release May 28, will be delayed to enable the Air Force to continue to validate extensive system changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System, officials announced. The 15E6 technical sergeant promotion cycle is the first to incorporate recent changes in the enlisted evaluation and promotion system. Recent...
 

 

Freedom completes rough water trials

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom completed Seakeeping and Structural Loads Trials, commonly referred to as Rough Water Trials in late March the Navy reported May 21. The U.S. Navy must demonstrate the seaworthiness and structural integrity of each new ship class. One of the primary ways the Navy verifies these qualities is through a...
 
 

Air Force releases Strategic Master Plan

The Air Force officially released the Strategic Master Plan May 21, which is the latest in a series of strategic documents designed to guide the organizing, training and equipping of the force over the coming decades. The SMP builds on the strategic imperatives and vectors described in the capstone document, America’s Air Force: A Call...
 
 

HYT extension possible for SrA-MSgt in 35 career fields

Eligible senior airmen, staff sergeants, technical sergeants and master sergeants in 35 Air Force specialties will be able to apply for a high year of tenure extension and, if approved, will be able to extend between 12 and 24 months past their current HYT. The Air Force is introducing several personnel and manpower initiatives to...
 




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>