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US B-52 brings region together through first Middle East presence patrol of 2022

  • Published
  • By Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central)
  • Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central)

Regional and coalition air forces joined a U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress and two U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets on a presence patrol mission across the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility Feb. 14.

The bombers’ flight originated at Royal Air Force Fairford, England, and flew over the East Mediterranean, Arabian Peninsula, and Red Sea before departing the Middle East.

“Today’s B-52-led demonstration of joint, coalition, and partner nation combat airpower was a powerful projection of our combined strength across the Middle East,” said Lt. Gen. Greg Guillot, 9th Air Force (AFCENT) commander. “By originating outside the CENTCOM AOR, the mission also exemplified the U.S. Air Force’s ability to deliver combat airpower seamlessly across multiple combatant commands.”

The mission, flown by aircrews assigned to the Minot Air Force Base, N.D.-headquartered 5th Bomb Wing, was the first presence patrol of 2022.

U.S. Central Command, through 9th Air Force (AFCENT), facilitated six bomber task force missions throughout 2021 as a demonstration of the U.S.-led coalition’s commitment to promoting regional stability. The last bomber-led mission across the Central Region involved two B-1B Lancers on Nov. 11, 2021.