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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

B-52 takes part in joint training 'down under'

8/23/2012 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) -- The Air Force will send a B-52 and KC-135, operating from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin later this week to take part in short term joint training with the RAAF. The B-52 is assigned to Andersen AFB as part of U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Air Force rotational presence in the Pacific, and the KC-135 is part of the Tanker Task Force in the region.

The aircraft landing at RAAF Darwin marks the first such event since the United States and Australia announced the US-Australia Force Posture Initiative in November 2011. This will enhance U.S. ability to train, exercise and operate with Australia and with other allies and partners across the region, further enabling the U.S. to work together with these nations to respond more quickly to a wide range of challenges, including humanitarian crises and disaster relief, as well as promoting security cooperation efforts across the region.

While this event is the first to highlight the intent for increased U.S. Air Force training with the RAAF, decisions on future rotations are still under discussion. One of the goals of this visit is to discuss details required for support to future rotational deployments to both RAAF Darwin and RAAF Tindal.

Once the B-52 and KC-135 leave RAAF Darwin, they will conduct simulated ordnance drops over Delamere Training Range in coordination with the RAAF, and practice aerial refueling operations.

This is the first time a B-52 has landed at RAAF Darwin since 2010, and comes on the heels of the U.S. Air Force participation in Exercise Pitch Black earlier this month. The Royal Australian Air Force was a key part of this event, as their C-17 brought forward personnel and critical equipment from Andersen AFB to support the B-52 arrival at RAAF Darwin.

"This event demonstrates our commitment to increased cooperation with our longstanding Australian allies," said Maj. Gen. Russell Handy, Director of Operations, Plans, Requirements and Programs for Pacific Air Forces. "This and future rotational deployments will enhance our bilateral collaboration, and offer greater opportunities to improve our ability to train, exercise and operate together now and in the future."

For follow-on questions regarding this release, contact the U.S. Pacific Air Forces public affairs office at (808) 448-3224 or 3226 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (HST), Monday through Friday or via email at pacaf.paops@us.af.mil.

(Courtesy Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs)

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