A pair of U.S. B-52H Stratofortresses flew a show-of-force mission across the Persian Gulf on Thursday in a display intended to deter attacks from Iran. The bombers were joined by fighter escorts from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar.
The aircraft, assigned to Louisiana’s Barksdale Air Force Base-headquartered 2nd Bomb Wing, flew a short-notice nonstop mission the military said was “designed to deter aggression” and assure allies and partners the United States can rapidly deploy military power.
“Potential adversaries should understand that no nation on earth is more ready and capable of rapidly deploying additional combat power in the face of any aggression,” U.S. Central Command’s commander, Gen. Frank McKenzie, said.
“Our ability to work together as partners on a mission like this heightens our collective readiness to respond to any crisis or contingency,” McKenzie said.
UPI reports this is the second U.S. show-of-force mission involving B-52s in the region in as many months.
A pair of U.S. Air Force B-52H "Stratofortresses" assigned to Barksdale Air Force Base operated in the CENTCOM area of responsibility with other @usairforce and regional partner aircraft in the second mission in as many months. Dec. 10, 2020 @USAFCENT https://t.co/zpZBxQ5uh7 pic.twitter.com/xZ5GzHnIo8
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) December 10, 2020
The mission comes two weeks after the assassination of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in Iran and amid escalating tentions between the United States and Iran, as Breitbart News reported.
“We do not seek conflict,” McKenzie said, “but we must remain postured and committed to respond to any contingency or in opposition to any aggression.”
U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers were last ordered to the region in May last year to counter unspecified threats from Iran.