Three B-52s headed for Darwin

Defence will host up to three United States Air Force B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers in Darwin as part of the Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) initiative with the United States.

FILE PHOTOUSAF B-52 in Darwin in 2014. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Terry Hartin

The aircraft will take part in training activities with the Australian Defence Force from late March through to early April and will build on training activities already carried out between the United States and Australia.

The USAF B-52 bombers, from Pacific Air Force’s Andersen Air Force base in Guam, will train with F/A-18A Hornets and PC-9 aircraft as well as ADF Joint Terminal Attack Controllers in designated military airspace near RAAF Williamtown.

The training provides the ADF with a valuable opportunity to integrate Royal Australian Air Force aircraft and ADF personnel with USAF B-52 bombers in close-air-support scenarios.

EAC training exercises are designed to increase the ability of Australian and US air forces to operate together and to enhance security cooperation in the region.

RAAF Base Darwin has previously hosted USAF B-52 bombers for ADF training exercises in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

While arriving and departing from RAAF Base Darwin, the B-52s will comply with RAAF’s aircraft noise policy.

No night or weekend flying is scheduled as part of this training exercise.

Exact flight dates and timings for the aircraft will not be released for security reasons.

In November 2011, the Australian and United States governments announced a broad concept for increased defence cooperation in Australia under the United States Force Posture Initiatives, which comprise annual deployments of United States Marine Corps personnel and the Enhanced Air Cooperation activities in Australia.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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