Defence says “a number” of United States Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bombers have arrived at RAAF Darwin to participate in Enhanced Air Cooperation exercises.
CAPTION: A US Air Force B-52 Stratofortress arrive lands at RAAF Base Darwin to train with the Royal Australian Air Force. Photo by Corporal Terry Hartin.
Before their arrival, a Defence press release specifically told us to anticipate up to three B-52s from Guam – but now that they have actually arrived (and can be counted), the number is suddenly vague.
Official photos show two aircraft – while Darwin Aviation Museum’s Facebook page says there were in fact three.
The aircraft now in Darwin are part of unit of six B-52 Stratofortress bombers that were strategically relocated to Guam in January this year, amid growing tensions with North Korea.
RAAF Base Darwin is hosting the bombers while they take part in training activities with the Australian Defence Force in designated military airspace over New South Wales, near RAAF Base Williamtown, until early April.
Enhanced Air Cooperation builds on a broad range of combined air exercises and training activities between the United States and Australia, which regularly involve visits by US military aircraft to Australia.
Australia and the United States officially commenced Enhanced Air Cooperation in February 2017, adding an extra dimension to the Force Posture Initiatives.
RAAF Darwin has hosted USAF B-52s in 2012, 2014 and 2016 for previous training exercises.
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