Pentagon Announces B-52 Deployment to Southwest Asia
May 8, 2019 (EIRNS)—The Pentagon announced, yesterday, that four B-52s from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, would be deploying to Southwest Asia, likely to Al Udeid Airbase in Qatar. Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a Central Command spokesman, said in a statement, that “the Air Force is deploying B-52s to the U.S. Central Command” area of operations, but that “We are not going to provide a specific timeline for that deployment.” While there is no reporting, yet, that the B-52 deployment was actually previously scheduled, it fits the pattern of 2016, when six B-52s replaced six B-1s at Al Udeid when the B-1s were sent home for equipment updates. This time around, the B-1 fleet has been suffering safety-of-flight issues to the point that the entire fleet was even grounded for a time.
As for the deployment of the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson confirmed on May 6 that it had been, indeed, already scheduled to go to Southwest Asia but that the deployment was accelerated. He described the move as an example of “dynamic force employment,” the Pentagon’s model of sending out troops and other assets at seemingly irregular intervals to keep U.S. adversaries off-balance. Richardson wrote on Twitter that the carrier would transit to Central Command’s area of responsibility “at the direction” of National Security Adviser John Bolton and Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan.
“This is the beauty of having a dynamic force,” Richardson tweeted. “The U.S. Navy can easily maneuver to protect national interests around the globe.”