American B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers have completed a month-long mission to Europe and Africa by flying over the Arctic, North Africa and the Pacific Ocean on June 17 and 18,
The B-52s had been forward-deployed to the Morón Air Base by arrangement with NATO ally Spain and served under the commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa, General General Jeffrey Harrigian, who is also commander of NATO’s Allied Air Command.
In the course of their deployment they flew over the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea, North Africa, the Gulf of Guinea and all of West Africa, and on May 31 flew over all thirty NATO members states in one day accompanied by some 80 combat aircraft from 20 other NATO nations.
The nuclear-capable bombers participated in over a dozen missions during the past month, including the U.S.-led Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) multinational exercise and a special operations maneuver. Even the ever-complaisant Russian government was compelled to take notice of the B-52s flying only a few minutes’ flight from St. Petersburg, tweeting “Use of [a] US Air Force nuclear-capable B-52H during BALTOPS is [a] provocation.”
The commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa and NATO’s Allied Air Command has a far broader geopolitical perspective than the residents of the Kremlin. At the conclusion of the month-long B-52 deployments, General Harrigian said:
“Our unparalleled global strike capability is the backbone of our combat-credible force. That force is the foundation of our extended deterrence strategy that safeguards both U.S. security and that of our allies and partners.”
Moscow hasn’t tweeted anything about that comment as far as is apparent.
Rick Rozoff is a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. He has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. He is the manager of Stop NATO. This originally appeared at Anti-Bellum.