Between May 24 and 31, 2021, four US Air Force B-52H strategic bombers simultaneously flew over NATO member countries. Those flights were carried out as part of Operation Allied Sky, which aims to “enhances readiness and provides training opportunities aimed at enhancing interoperability” between the United States and its NATO allies.

The B-52H Stratrofortresses of the USAF Bomber Task Force (BTF) were deployed from Morón Air Base in Spain. They were escorted into European skies by several allied nations, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, and Turkey. To carry out their mission, they were refueled in flight by KC-135 Stratotankers from the 100th USAF Refueling Squadron, based in Mildenhall, United Kingdom.

“Bomber missions demonstrate the credibility of our forces to address a global security environment that is moCommander of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa, and NATO’s Allied Air Command, headquartered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. “Today’s mission is an awesome demonstration of NATO air superiority and together there is no challenge we cannot tackle.”

Above Paris, one of the bombers was joined by two Rafales of the French Air Force. The fighter jets belonged to the operational staff of Saint-Dizier Air Base 113, in northeastern France.

“This event confirms the joint commitment of NATO countries, with the strong involvement of the French armed forces in the operational activities of the Atlantic Alliance,” the French Ministry of Armed Forces commented. “Indeed, as a reliable, credible and united ally, France respects its commitments vis-à-vis NATO and its allies, while retaining its strategic independence.”

It is the second edition of Operation Allied Sky. The first one took place on August 28, 2020, during which the B-52H bombers flew over the 30 NATO member countries.