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Taking off to the Great White North

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress receives fuel from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker during an air-refueling mission off the coast of Norway, Sept. 15, 2018. The purpose of the flight was to conduct theater familiarization for aircrew members and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to allies and partners through the global employment of our military forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress receives fuel from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker during an air-refueling mission off the coast of Norway, Sept. 15, 2018. The purpose of the flight was to conduct theater familiarization for aircrew members and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to allies and partners through the global employment of our military forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress receives fuel from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker during an air-refueling mission off the coast of Norway, Sept. 15, 2018. The purpose of the flight was to conduct theater familiarization for aircrew members and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to allies and partners through the global employment of our military forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress receives fuel from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker during an air-refueling mission off the coast of Norway, Sept. 15, 2018. The purpose of the flight was to conduct theater familiarization for aircrew members and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to allies and partners through the global employment of our military forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Ryan Nelson, left, and Maj. Matthew Boatman, 351st Air Refueling Squadron pilots, conduct pre-flight checks of a KC-135 Stratotanker prior to performing an air-refueling mission, at RAF Mildenhall, England, Sept. 15, 2018. The mission included the refueling of a B-52 Stratofortress from the 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale, Louisiana, that is deployed to RAF Fairford, England. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Ryan Nelson, left, and Maj. Matthew Boatman, 351st Air Refueling Squadron pilots, conduct pre-flight checks of a KC-135 Stratotanker prior to performing an air-refueling mission, at RAF Mildenhall, England, Sept. 15, 2018. The mission included the refueling of a B-52 Stratofortress from the 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale, Louisiana, that is deployed to RAF Fairford, England. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

RAF FAIRFORD, England -- A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress conducted a flight from RAF Fairford, England, up the Norwegian coast, over the Barents Sea and Arctic Ocean before returning to RAF Fairford. The mission was enabled by aerial refueling support from a KC-135 Stratotanker based at RAF Mildenhall, England.

The purpose of the flight was to conduct theater familiarization for aircrew members and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to allies and partners through the global employment of our military forces. U.S. Strategic Command regularly tests and evaluates the readiness of strategic assets to ensure we are able to honor our security commitments.

The B-52, part of the Bomber Task Force currently deployed to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility, is deployed from the 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The aircraft arrived in theater on Sept. 5 and is temporarily operating out of RAF Fairford. The deployment of strategic bombers to the U.K. helps exercise RAF Fairford as U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s forward operating location for bombers.

Strategic bomber missions enhance the readiness and training necessary to respond to any potential crisis or challenge across the globe.