Saber Strike is a long-standing U.S. Army Europe-led cooperative training exercise. Its creation was to enhance joint interoperability through a range of missions. Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the United States are this year’s participants for the exercise held between 3rd and 22nd June.
Some 250 personnel from the 23rd Bomb squadron, Air Force Global Strike Command supported the B52H’s (60-0007, 60-0037 and 60-0044) arriving at RAF Fairford over two days 2nd & 3rd June under the call sign ‘Mytee 51 and 52’. During the exercise they flew 25 missions almost daily to numerous locations throughout Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. They also participated in flypasts at a number of European air shows.
Baltops is a maritime exercise and one of the jets flew a 4 hour mission on Saturday 11th June to drop twelve Mk-62 500lb inert Quickstrike sea mines near a small island in the baltic region. The mines contain a tracking device and Navy divers drop down to bring them back to the surface. This is the third year in succession that B52's have supported the exercise, each time based at RAF Fairford. This year they also came fitted with Heavy Store Adapter Beams (HSAB) under wing pylons, each with the capacity to hold an additional nine bombs.
Thanks to Justin R Oakes, Public Affairs and the 23rd Bomb Squadron for hosting our visit.