Bomber Task Force deployment concludes at RAF Fairford

  • Published
  • By 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs

RAF FAIRFORD, England – RAF Fairford recently hosted a United States Strategic Command Bomber Task Force deployment of B-52 Stratofortress aircraft from the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. Six B-52s arrived at RAF Fairford between 14-15 March, along with over 400 support personnel, who made RAF Fairford their home for a few weeks.

The deployment of strategic bombers to RAF Fairford helps to exercise the base as the United States Air Forces in Europe’s Forward Operating Location for bomber aircraft. The strategic bomber missions from Fairford enhance the readiness and training necessary to respond to any potential crisis or challenge across the globe.

During their time here, Airmen from the 2nd Bomb Wing flew missions over several areas in the European theatre, including Estonia/Baltic Sea, Norwegian Sea, Greece/Mediterranean Sea, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Iceland, Norway, Netherlands, Romania, Hungary and Morocco, where they took part in the annual “African Lion” training exercise. These missions enabled the deployed personnel to conduct interoperability training with NATO Allies. Joint training opportunities like these enhance the ability to operate together and sharpen the readiness of the NATO alliance.

RAF Fairford has been designated as a USAF bomber Forward Operating Location since the 1990’s, and enables US and NATO warfighters to conduct a full spectrum of flying operations in the European theatre. The deployments mean the base experiences periods of airfield activity followed by quieter periods. For reasons of operational security it is not possible to give specific dates when airfield activity will start and end.

In addition to the above, it has recently been announced that the USAF 95th Reconnaissance Squadron and 488th Intelligence Squadron will relocate the RC-135 RIVET JOINT mission from RAF Mildenhall to RAF Fairford as part of the European Infrastructure Consolidation. RC-135 aircraft will also use RAF Fairford as a Forward Operating Location and deploy as required from the United States. Planning has started for the relocation of this mission, which will involve around 880 personnel plus family members, who will be stationed at RAF Fairford and become part of the local community. The relocation of personnel is expected to begin in 2023.

To view photos and videos of the Bomber Task Force, visit:

For more information about activities at RAF Fairford, you can follow the 501st Combat Support Wing on:

Press releases regarding aircraft activity at RAF Fairford and elsewhere in Europe are available on:

If you have any specific queries about activities at RAF Fairford, please contact Jenny Collyer, Community Relations Adviser, at 01285 714965 /, and 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs at 01480 843857 /

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