IAF accompanies US B-52 bombers over region

The Bomber Task Force mission included fighter escorts from the Air Forces of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in their respective airspaces.

 IDF F-15i fighter jets escort US B-52 bombers, September 2022 (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
IDF F-15i fighter jets escort US B-52 bombers, September 2022

The Israeli Air Force accompanied two US B-52 bombers through Israeli airspace on their way to the Gulf, as part of a multi-national Bomber Task Force mission, according to the US Air Force and IDF.

Two B-52H Stratofortresses conducted theater integration training and operations with a number of US Air Force, partner and ally aircraft, including F-15/18, RJ-135, E-3, KC-135/10/46, FGR-4 and A-330.

The bombers took off from Fairford, England and flew over the Eastern Mediterranean, Arabian Peninsula and Red Sea before departing the region.

The mission included fighter escorts from the Royal Air Force and the Air Forces of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Senior National Representatives (SNR) of 16 coalition nations, led by the Canadian SNR, enhanced logistical support for the mission.

Bomber Task Force missions demonstrate readiness, enhance mission preparation and maximize collective coalition strengths.

Bomber Task Force mission part of 'close cooperation' between IDF and US military

"This flight is part of the close cooperation with the US Armed Forces, which is significant to maintaining aerial security in Israel and the Middle East," said the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.

“This Bomber Task Force is a strong, clear representation of enduring US commitment to the region,” said Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central) commander. “In addition to maintaining a sufficient, sustainable force posture, AFCENT is able—in concert with our partners—to rapidly inject overwhelming combat power into the region on demand.

"Threats to the US and our partners will not go unanswered. Missions like this BTF showcase our ability to combine forces to deter and, if necessary, defeat our adversaries.”

“This kind of operation demonstrates the collective capabilities of the military partnership we’ve developed in the Middle East,” said Army Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, Commander of US CENTCOM. “We have the ability to put a significant measure of combat power in the air alongside our partners very quickly. We can do the same on the ground and at sea.”

The last Bomber Task Force mission in the region was in June 2022. There have been four Bomber Task Force missions this year.