USA BTF B 1B and RSAF 640US bombers escorted by Middle East Allies

In October 2021, two US Central Command Rockwell B-1B Lancer bombers temporary based at Naval Support Facility (NSF) Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean accompanied by an KC-10 Extender from the 380th Expeditionary Wing from Al Dhafra AB (UAE) flew a five hour non-stop multilateral flight over the Gulf of Aden, Bab el-Mandeb Strait, Red Sea, Suez Canal, Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman.

Since 17 October 2021, the US Air Force deployed the two bombers and approximately 200 airmen from 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth AFB (SD) to NSF Diego Garcia to support the Pacific Air Forces’ Bomber Task Force (BTF) missions.

These BTF missions demonstrate the commitment to US allies and partners through employment of military force. Multiple sorties will be flown throughout the deployment in support of multiple geographic combatant command objectives and training requirements.

USA BTF B 1B and KC 10 path 320During the flight, US allied fighters from Bahrain, Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia flew alongside the bombers at different intervals and locations. This flight marks the fifth so-called ‘presence’ patrol mission US bombers have undertaken in the Central Command area of responsibility this year.

In January 2021, Boeing B-52H Stratofortress bombers flew over the Middle East on three occasions, followed by another mission in March.

F-16Cs from the Al Quwwat Al Jawwiya Il Misriya (EAF, Egyptian Air Force), F-15Cs from the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF), F-15Cs from the Heyl Ha'Avir (IAF, Israeli Air Force) and F-16Cs from the Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF) escorted the B-1B Lancers and KC-10 Extender during their patrol mission over the Middle East to present the relationship and strong ties between their country and the United States as a warning towards Iran.

Participating aircraft:

2x B-1B from 37th BS/28th BW ('EL') deployed to Diego Garcia
1x KC-10A from 908th EARS/380th EW based at Al Dhafra (UAE)
Egyptian Air Force
2x F-16C, probably from 282 TFW at Fayid air base
Israeli Air Force
1x F-15C from 106 Squadron at Tel Nof air base
1x F-15C from 133 Squadron at Tel Nof air base
4x F-15C from 5 Squadron at Taif/King Fahd air base
3x F-16C from 1 TFS/2 TFS at Shaikh Isa air base


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