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18 Apr, 2020 01:07

US quietly recalls ALL B-52 bombers from Guam just DAYS after staging ‘show of force’

US quietly recalls ALL B-52 bombers from Guam just DAYS after staging ‘show of force’

All five nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bombers departed their forward base on the Pacific island of Guam just days after taking part in an ‘elephant walk’ show of force. The US Air Force says it wants to be more unpredictable.

The B-52H Stratofortresses departed Guam on Thursday, ending the Continuous Bomber Presence Mission that began in 2004, according to the War Zone blog. They were spotted flying over to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, with callsigns spelling “SEEYA”.

The redeployment was in line with the new National Defense Strategy, calling for the bombers to return to their permanent base and keep the forward deployments less predictable, US Strategic Command spokesperson Major Kate Atanasoff told the War Zone.

US strategic bombers will continue to operate in the Indo-Pacific, to include Guam, at the timing and tempo of our choosing

For the past 16 years, that place was the Andersen AFB on Guam, where the B-52 bombers as well as their newer B-1B and B-2 cousins, would do six-month stints. Under the Trump administration, however, the USAF began experimenting with “Dynamic Force Deployment,” sending B-2s to Wake Island amid their deployment at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

Also on rt.com Fox News reporter generously adds N. Korea and ‘maybe Russia’ as intended audience of Pentagon's B-52 'elephant walk' in Guam

The bombers’ departure was accidentally revealed by the Pentagon on April 14, when a photo of them was captioned"Last Continuous Bomber Presence Mission on Guam" on the official Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) website. The caption was later changed to “Andersen remains ready.”

That was the same caption that was used for the “elephant walk” publicity stunt the day before, when the five B-52s lined up on the runway with six KC-135 Stratotankers, an RQ-4 Global Hawk long-range surveillance drone and the Navy’s MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter.

The show of force was interpreted by the media as a message to China, North Korea and even Russia not to get any ideas about challenging US global hegemony. The main tool of US force projection in the region, the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, has been very publicly sidelined by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, with its crew quarantined on Guam.

Also on rt.com ‘We have too many ships at sea’: Pentagon says more Theodore Roosevelt-level coronavirus outbreaks are possible

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