B-52s Hold Up Surge in Bomber Exercise over Korean Peninsula

A number of B-52 Stratofortresses flew over the Korean Peninsula on June 30, escorted by U.S. and South Korean fighters as a part of a “mixed aerial coaching occasion,” each international locations’ militaries introduced. 

The nuclear-capable bombers flew alongside U.S. Air Power F-16s and F-15Es and Republic of Korea Air Power F-35As and KF-16s, in accordance with a launch from the ROK Ministry of Protection. 

“The coaching supplied the alliance a possibility to additional strengthen its interoperability by demonstrating a mixed protection functionality, speedy deployment, and prolonged deterrence within the protection of the Korean Peninsula,” a U.S. Forces Korea launch acknowledged. 

The B-52s have been from Barksdale Air Power Base, La., and never a part of the continued Bomber Activity Power deployment of B-52s from Minot Air Power Base, N.D., which started June 14. These bombers not too long ago landed in Indonesia, the primary time ever for a B-52, in a gesture of partnership with the strategically vital southeast Asian nation. 

In distinction, bombers have been an everyday sight for South Koreans as of late. This newest train marks the seventh time within the final six months that B-52s or B-1s have flown above or close to the Korean Peninsula. 

  • On Feb. 1, two B-1s and F-22 Raptors flew with South Korean F-35s over the Yellow Sea, simply west of the Peninsula.  
  • On Feb. 19, two B-1s flew with F-16s and ROK F-35s by way of the Korean Air Protection Identification Zone, a buffer space that features worldwide airspace close to the Korean Peninsula.  
  • On March 3, the South Korean Ministry of Nationwide Protection introduced one B-1 had flown with South Korean F-15K and KF-16 fighters over the Yellow Sea. 
  • On March 15, a single B-52 flew with U.S. Air Power F-16s and ROK Air Power F-15s over the Peninsula. 
  • On March 19, a pair of B-1s flew with F-16s and South Korean F-35s as a part of the joint mixed train Freedom Protect 23 
  • On April 14, B-52s flew with USAF F-16s and ROKAF F-35s. 

Previous to the current flurry of exercise, U.S. Forces Korea had introduced simply two USAF bomber sorties over the Peninsula within the final two years. 

All seven coaching workout routines have taken place since Secretary of Protection Lloyd J. Austin III visited South Korea in January and pledged to ramp up army workout routines to incorporate expanded use of air property corresponding to fifth-generation fighters and strategic bombers. 

Austin’s pledge was largely seen as reassurance for South Korea after North Korea performed a document variety of ballistic missile exams in 2022. Rising considerations about these exams led some South Korean officers to counsel the nation ought to conduct nuclear drills with America and even pursue its personal nuclear weapons program. 

U.S. officers say they continue to be dedicated to the longstanding coverage purpose of denuclearizing your entire Korean Peninsula, and in April, President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol introduced a joint declaration meant to bolster the U.S.’s nuclear “umbrella” to discourage assaults on South Korea.  

The doc included a declaration that the U.S. would improve the visibility of its strategic property within the area. 

The Republic of Korea and U.S. conduct a mixed aerial train with the deployment of U.S. Air Power B-52H Stratofortresses over the Republic of Korea, June 30, 2023. Photograph by ROK Air Power