The United States have sent six nuclear capable B-52 long range bombers to the United Kingdom for a series of training activities in Europe. The aircrafts and 450 US air force personnels arrived at the Royal Air Force base Fairford on Thursday.
NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu welcomed the deployment and brushed aside any pressure to Russia. Lungescu said,”This is a routine deployment, but it shows that the US nuclear umbrella protects Europe and demonstrates the unique capabilities the US could bring to Europe in a crisis. The B-52 deployment is yet another sign that the United States is strongly committed to NATO.”
The United States strategically deployed the B-1, B-2 and now B-52 in the NATO exercise at the Fairford base every year. American planes have been on standby at the Fairford airbase since the 2003 operations in Iraq. The air crew can conduct missions at the Norwegian Sea, Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean from the Fairford airbase.
Tensions have been on the rise between United States and Russia. The deployment sends a very strong signal to Russia, who celebrated the five year anniversary of its military annexation of Crimea.
The B-52 bombers were first deployed in the US Air Force in the 1950s, and they can carry both conventional and nuclear weapons.