Thu, Oct 12, 2017 - Page 1 News List

US flies two heavy bombers over the Korean Peninsula

AFP, SEOUL

A US Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron on Tuesday takes off from Andersen AFB in Guam to fly sequenced bilateral missions with two Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-15s and two South Korean Air Force F-15Ks in the vicinity of the Sea of Japan.

Photo: EPA / US Air Force

The US has flown two supersonic heavy bombers over the Korean Peninsula in a show of force against Pyongyang, staging the first nighttime joint aviation exercises with Japan and South Korea.

Two B-1B Lancers based on Guam late on Tuesday flew a mission in the vicinity of the Sea of Japan, the US Pacific Air Forces said in a statement.

“Flying and training at night with our allies in a safe, effective manner is an important capability shared between the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea and hones the tactical prowess of each nations’ aviators,” US Major Patrick Applegate said in a statement.

South Korean defense authorities yesterday said the bombers staged a simulated air-to-ground missile firing drill with two South Korean fighters over the Sea of Japan.

The four aircraft then flew across the peninsula and staged another round of a firing exercise over the Yellow Sea before the two B-IBs returned home, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

“This drill was part of a routine deployment training aimed at enhancing deterrence” against the North’s nuclear threats, the JCS said in a statement.

The B-1Bs also conducted exercises with the Japan Air-Self Defense Force in what the US statement called a “sequenced bilateral mission.”

The exercises came as a US nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine, the USS Tuscon, made a call in South Korea’s southern port of Jinhae, the US Pacific Command said, but did not indicate when the Hawaii-based submarine with a crew of about 150 would depart the peninsula.

The last flight by US bombers was 17 days earlier when four US F-35B stealth jets and two B-1Bs flew over the peninsula.

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