RAF MILDENHALL, England — Three B-52 Stratofortress bombers arrived in Britain on Wednesday for a training deployment, just days after President Barack Obama unveiled plans to boost America’s military presence on the Continent.
The long-range bombers, which are capable of delivering conventional and nuclear weapons, landed at RAF Fairford to start a two-week deployment that will allow their crews to familiarize themselves with regional air bases and operations, the Air Force said in a press release.
The planes deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, and Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, according to the release.
It said the U.S. Air Force routinely runs training missions “to ensure the U.S. has a credible and flexible capability to respond to a variety of potential threats.”
“Bomber operations enhance this capability by providing the president a variety of options he may need to protect the nation or its allies and partners,” the release said.
The planes come as Obama visits Europe to attend the G7 conference and to reassure allies about the U.S. commitment to oppose Russian expansion. Obama said he wants Congress to authorize up to $1 billion to be spent on increasing U.S. military activity in Europe.
One of the three B-52s is also scheduled to participate in the D-Day commemoration on Saturday in France.