USAF flies B-1B bomber in joint exercises with allies over Middle East waterways
The United States Air Force flew a B-1B Lancer strategic bomber over key waterways in the Middle East on October 30, 2021, in joint exercises with allies Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and Israel.
The bomber flew over sites such as the Strait of Hormuz, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, accompanied by fighter jets from its partners.
Israel F-15s and Bahrain F-16s joined the USAF B-1B bomber as part of Presence Patrol missions on October 30, with the USAF saying the missions were flown to deliver “a clear message of reassurance” across the region.
Unwavering commitment! @IAFsite F-15s joined a @usairforce B-1B Oct. 30 as part of a #PresencePatrol across the CENTCOM AOR. The mission, the fifth of its kind in 2021, was flown to deliver a clear message of reassurance across @CENTCOM AOR. #StrongerTogether @AFGlobalStrike pic.twitter.com/YmP6IKjJrZ— US AFCENT (@USAFCENT) October 30, 2021
During one exercise, the B-1B strategic bomber was accompanied by F-15 fighters of the Royal Saudi Air Force. The USAF Central Command said on social media that the F-15s “demonstrated disciplined airmanship”, adding that “military readiness for any contingency or mission depends on reliable partnerships.”
In a statement on October 31, 2021, the Saudi state news agency said: “This drill highlights capabilities, air control, and operational integration, and is a continuation of the joint cooperation between the Saudi Royal Air Force and the U.S. Air Force to maintain the security and stability of the region.”
The B-1B Lancer bomber has been flying for the USAF since 1985. It was originally designed for nuclear capabilities but switched to conventional combat. Other bombers in the USAF fleet include the B-2 Spirit and the nuclear-capable B-52 Stratofortress.
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