A KC-10 Extender assigned to the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron and two U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing were seen on Sunday flying over Israeli airspace, heading to the Persian Gulf on Sunday.
Later, U.S. Central Command confirmed that B-52H crews were conducting the second Middle East presence patrol of 2021 as a key part of CENTCOM’s defensive stance.
The details were made public in a media release conducted in 17 January, it was announced U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress aircrews successfully completed a presence patrol in the Middle East, marking the second such mission of 2021.
U.S. Central Command’s commander said, "Bomber Task Force missions are observable ways to demonstrate the U.S. military’s continuing commitment to regional security."
“‘Short-term deployments of strategic assets are an important part of our defensive posture in the region,” said Gen. Frank McKenzie. “The training opportunity and continued integration with regional partners improve readiness and delivers a clear and consistent message in the operational environment to both friends and potential adversaries, alike.” he further added.
This is the fifth Bomber Task Force mission into the Middle East in the last few months.
The main intention of flight of B-52H bombers over the region was to depict underscore America’s continuing commitment to the Middle East to respond to a potential Iranian attack at U.S. troops in the region.
Earlier in December 2020, Pentagon had sent a pair of B-52 bombers from their base in Barksdale, L.A, to the Middle East and back to “deter aggression” in the region. Sending the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz back to the Middle East and deploying an additional fighter jet squadron from Europe are among the other steps taken by the US military in recent weeks.