Only a few weeks after the conclusion of the 16-year Continuous Bomber Operation in Guam, the US Air Force is back on the Pacific Island with its B-1 bombers. The rapid relocation plan is intended to leave Washington’s enemies confused about where and where US weapons should be.
The US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) reported on Friday that four of the B-1s had arrived at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam to perform training and “strategic warning flights” in the Indo-Pacific area, capable of carrying the largest weapon payloads in the US fleet.
The B-1s are being moved from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas in what the Air Force called its bomber task force, a program intended to move the giant warplanes to locations around the world to demonstrate “operational unpredictability,” the service said in a statement.
The Air Force has not stated how long it would take for the bombers on Guam.
Provisional deployment back to Guam
Analysts say tactics make it easier for the U.S. military to strike than to keep them on individual sites. As was the case for Guam’s now-ended Continuous Bomber Presence.
“The accuracy and predictability of the (Guam) deployment posed major tactical risks. Because of their well-known existence, a Chinese military strategist may possibly have planned ways to kill the bombers”. Timothy Heath said, senior foreign security analyst with the Washington think tank RAND Corp.
After withdrawing B-52 bombers from Guam on April 17. The US has made its B-1s visible in the Atlantic, with flights flew over from mainland US bases.
That involves a 32-hour flight from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota over the South China Sea and back last Thursday by two B-1s to the skies.
Earlier in April, two B-1s from South Dakota base were sent by the Air Force on a 30-hour round trip to Japan. Where they teamed up with Japanese F-15 and F-2 fighters. As well as US F-16 aircraft, on a training exercise, the Air Force said.
In confirming the arrival of the B-1s to Guam, Lt. Col. Frank Welton, Chief of Operations Force Management at PACAF. He asserted the ability of the US to transport more effective weapons than the B-52s. That departed Guam a couple of weeks ago.