U.S. Bomber Deployments Surging Against Both China and Russia
Sept. 12, 2020 (EIRNS)—Major General Mark E. Weatherington, commander of the 8th Air Force and the Joint-Global Strike Force Operations Center, bragged that bomber operations have been shifted to a more “dynamic” operational and training deployment level throughout the Pacific theater to emphasize warfare “readiness” and deter potential adversaries, during remarks made to the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute of Aerospace Studies, yesterday. “We are sustaining a surge in bomber operations, vital to demonstrating peace and stability. We need to keep our adversaries off balance. We have to persistently refine our operating concepts and develop new technologies,” he said. The thrust of the effort, Weatherington explained, involves not only increasing the number and frequency of Bomb Task Force (BTF) missions but also embracing a less “static,” more active and integrated war-preparation and deterrence posture. Weatherington’s remarks make clear that with these operations, the Air Force is preparing for war against America’s designated “enemies,” should they not be “deterred” from their alleged aggressive behavior. This is the logic of the “sole superpower” ideology behind the policy.
And just to show that they can fly to any place from any direction, three B-1 bombers flying out of Dyess, Texas, appeared over the East Siberian Sea yesterday, the body of water in the Arctic north of Siberia. The mission “demonstrated how U.S. strategic bombers are able to support any mission, anywhere around the globe at a moment’s notice,” U.S. European Command said in a statement. Afterwards, the bombers landed at Eielson AFB in Alaska to prepare for a deployment to Europe.
At the same time as the B-1s were flying over the East Siberian Sea, there was a “high end” combat exercise over the North Sea, called “Point Blank,” involving more than 50 aircraft, F-15s, F-16s, F-35s, Typhoons, B-52s, and KC-135s, from the U.K., the U.S. and the Netherlands, reported the Forces.net, a U.K. news site.
The cost of keeping all these aircraft airborne per flight hour is considerable, however. According to DOD data that have been published in several locations over the past few years, the B-2 costs more than $130,000 per flight-hour to keep airborne, while the B-52 flying hour cost runs around $70,000. The B-1 comes in at $61,000 per flight hour, a relative bargain. The six B-52s at Fairford have flown at least a dozen sorties averaging 10-12 hours each since they arrived there on Aug. 22, costing a total of roughly $8-$10 million, if not more. Such operations are a luxury when the food supply for millions of people in Africa is being eaten up by locusts and populations elsewhere in the world are being similarly affected by other natural disasters which are aggravated by inadequate responses to the pandemic.