Air Forces Africa announced that an American long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic aircraft, B-52 Stratofortress, flew a mission supporting Operation Allied Sky, which is the latest iteration of routine Bomber Task Force missions that took place in the European operations since 2018.
In support of a #bombertaskforce mission @BeAirForce #F16 escorted @usairforce #B52 above 🇧🇪. The Operation Allied Sky involved all 30 #NATO member states and demonstrates the 🇺🇸 commitment to collective defence. #BTFEuro pic.twitter.com/FgeAJmjrBz
— Belgian Air Force🇧🇪 (@BeAirForce) June 1, 2021
Allied Sky Operation will be carried out in two parts, namely ‘North America Leg’ and ‘European Leg.’
According to the US European Command release, the B-52 Stratofortress bombers flew a mission over all thirty nations of NATO in Europe and North America on May 31, integrating with over twenty allied nations across two combatant commands as a part of Allied Sky.
B-52 bombers deployed to Moron Airbase in Spain flew over all European NATO countries under the European Leg. At the same time, the aircraft integrated with aircraft from Canada and the United States under the North American Leg.
Allied Sky can take between fifteen minutes and an hour and needs intense coordination between the crew of both aircraft. They both reduce their speed to a mere 375 knots (316 mph) and sync up their moves, allowing a boom to descend from one of the American Air Force’s air refueling craft, KC-135 stratotanker, and connect to an opening on the top of the B-52 bomber, pumping thousands of gallons of fuel in minutes.
Take a look at what the B-52 pilots saw outside their window during #AlliedSky!
Can you recognize where each of the #NATO aircraft are from? pic.twitter.com/fTGu0L66jM
— US Strategic Command (@US_Stratcom) June 1, 2021
Six B-52s carried out a similar mission in August 2020
NATO Allied Air Command and Unites States Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander, Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian said that Bomber missions demonstrate the credibility of their forces to address the international security environment that is more diverse and uncertain than at any other time in their past. Moreover, Harrigian said that day’s mission is an overwhelming demonstration of 30-member military alliance air superiority, and together there’s no task they couldn’t tackle.
The United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Belgium, Canada, Greece, Germany, Hungary, France, Croatia, Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Spain, Netherlands, Poland, Norway, Slovakia, Portugal, Turkey, and Romania are the NATO countries that took part in the mission.
Six B-52s carried out a similar mission in August 2020. Four of them, which were deployed RAF Fairford, UK, flew over all European NATO members while two bombers from Minot Airbase, North Dakota, flew over Canada and the United States.
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