US Rushed B-52 Bombers to Diego Garcia Amid January Iran Tensions

Deployments continued through end of March

US B-52 bombers were quickly deployed to Diego Garcia back in January during mounting tensions with Iran, putting the bombers in range of Iran but not in any locations where they might themselves become targets of Iran.

B-52s in the region usually are deployed in Qatar, but in this case they were sent the island in the Indian Ocean, and remained there through the end of March, when the deployment formally ended.

For now, there are no such bombers deployed in the area near Iran, but as was shown in January, the US can get them into the area within a matter of days if they are ratcheting up tensions with Iran, something that happens often lately.

Putting the bombers at Diego Garcia reflects that the US continues to intend to use the island in an Iran conflict, and shows that the January flare-up was indeed approaching a possible war before it deescalated.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.