American B-52 bombers have been making use of the Tain Air Weapons range north of Inverness in Scotland.

Around midday today, two B-52 bombers working with an RAF Regiment Joint Terminal Attack Controller conducted a practice bombing run at Tain, you can see a video following this in my tweet embedded below.

Their callsigns were HATE11 and HATE13.

UPDATE: A B-52 bomber was also working the range at Holbeach in England at the same time.

The U.S. Air Force said in a statement:

“En route to RAF Fairford, U.S. Bomber Aircraft integrated with British Typhoon aircraft and Portuguese F-16s currently assigned to NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing mission. Bomber aircraft also integrated with British Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) to conduct bilateral Close Air Support training. The mission focused on enhancing readiness and interoperability for the controllers responsible for coordinating airstrikes to support ground forces.”

The aircraft, along with a number of others, arrived in the UK earlier today as part of a Bomber Task Force deployment.

The U.S. Air FOrce also said:

“B-52 Stratofortress aircraft, support equipment, and personnel from the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, arrived at RAF Fariford, England, today to execute the long-planned Bomber Task Force mission, a regularly scheduled U.S. European Command and U.S. Strategic Command joint mission series.

Regularly integrating with our allies improves our cooperation and operational capacity, capability and interoperability. Occurring since 2018, bomber rotations through Europe maintain our readiness to execute a wide variety of missions across two continents, sustaining peace through deterrence.”

It should be noted that ‘Bomber Task Force’ missions regularly visit the UK, with the most recent being a B-2 stealth bomber. You can read more about the previous deployment by clicking here.

The US Air Force explains the purpose of Bomber Task Force missions as follows “by training in Europe, aircrew and Airmen are familiarizing themselves with the European theater and airspace, to enhance enduring skills and relationships with allies and partners”.

On their website, the U.S. Air Force describe the bomber as follows:

“The B-52H Stratofortress is a long-range, heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions. The bomber is capable of flying at high subsonic speeds at altitudes of up to 50,000 feet (15,166.6 meters). It can carry nuclear or precision guided conventional ordnance with worldwide precision navigation capability. In a conventional conflict, the B-52 can perform strategic attack, close-air support, air interdiction, offensive counter-air and maritime operations.

B-52s are equipped with advanced targeting pods. Targeting pods provide improved long-range target detection, identification and continuous stabilized surveillance for all missions, including close air support of ground forces. The advanced targeting and image processing technology significantly increases the combat effectiveness of the B-52 during day, night and less than ideal weather conditions when attacking ground targets with a variety of standoff weapons (e.g., laser-guided bombs, conventional bombs and GPS-guided weapons). The use of aerial refuelling gives the B-52 a range limited only by aircrew endurance. It has an unrefueled combat range in excess of 8,800 miles (14,080 kilometres).”

For more than 60 years, B-52s have been the backbone of the strategic bomber force for the United States.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Paul42
Paul42
6 months ago

Anybody know how many are actually here yet?

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

4 – HATE11/12/13/14
SERIALS:
61-0039
61-0006
60-0044
61-0003

All have now landed at RAF Fairford.

ADRIAN ASHTON
ADRIAN ASHTON
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Is saw three on the ADS-B Exchange live radar site yesterday for sure, but may have missed more. They landed at Fairford when they’d finished playing.

Paul42
Paul42
5 months ago
Reply to  ADRIAN ASHTON

As far as I know its just the 4.

Matt
Matt
6 months ago

Interesting little (very) off-topic quote wrt France. They are a bit like us !

France is no different. In fact, during the 30 year period between 1991 and 2021, the number of battle tanks dropped from 1,349 to 222, the number of fighters from 686 to 254, the number of large surface ships from 41 to 19 and its active-duty manpower from 453,000 to 203,000, the study points out.
https://breakingdefense.com/2021/12/france-wants-to-transform-its-beautiful-army-for-high-intensity-warfare/

David_s
David_s
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt

The most damaging time (militarily) in this country’s history could be said to be the years after WWI, where there was a ’10 year plan’ renewed regularly, which had the thought that we were 10 years away from a major conflict. We have the same attitude in spades now: our entire armed forces is less than half the size of the US Marine Corps (with less than 30% of the fighter aircraft the US Marines have), there are massive gaps in our capability which leave us TOTALLY unable to fight alone, and probably more of a liability to those we… Read more »

Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt

Going by those figures, and with the reductions within the British armed forces during the same time period, Donald Trump was right to threaten US withdrawal from NATO, the entire organisation is too reliant on US political and military might to stop Russia and bring them to the table, even the UK and France have become too lax. You would think, given recent tensions with Russia, Macron would be building a case for that “EU Army” idea he peddled for when Trump was president. I guess he has realised the cold harsh reality that the Germans aren’t as up for… Read more »

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago

We and the French, probably others as well, decided 30 years ago that the risk of an attack from the east was very low and took the peace dividend, as it was called. That decision was spot on and still looks correct as there is no indication that Russia wants to attack any NATO country. The current exercises and movements have, apart from 2020 been going on since at least 2016. There is a view that the current situation is driven by NS2. The US really doesn’t want it and for many years has been doing all it can to… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
6 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

About the only thing you are right about is the fact that this current confrontation started some time ago. Mr Putin has slowly but surly been infiltrating the Media, Acidaemia, Political parties and public life in the UK along with most European countries. If you take the average Chelsea fan they have no idea that every time they buy a ticket for the game they are putting money directly into Mr Putin’s pocket. The average German citizen has no idea that Ms Mercal was before she went into politics in the East German secret police working alongside the KGB, the… Read more »

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago

There is no point my arguing as we are poles apart. Time will tell which of us got it closest.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
6 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

You are right, time will tell. I just wonder what will happen to all of Mr Putin’s stooges after he has fallen from grace and is counting his Billions hidden away in one of his many palaces.

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago

Perhaps you might explain how another World leader, in a similar situation to Putin in the future, Obama, is able to spent the best part of $100B on property alone after leaving power?

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
5 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

I can’t explain what Mr Obama dose with his money and quite frankly wonder what that has got to do with Mr Putin or is it just anouther way of diverting attention form the atrocious behaviour of your leader.

JohninMK
JohninMK
5 months ago

My leader is called Boris. I was mearly drawing a comparison between your clain that Putin has unknown billions and the fact that Obama has unexplained millions, that’s all. Oh, and our Mr Blair seems to have done rather well too.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
5 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

To get into the Presidential race in the USA you already have to be a Billionaire and as far as Mr Blair is concerned I think he should be hung for treason. But like most people who sell their country short he has been given a Knight-hood.

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
6 months ago

Yes and the Canadian Trucker protestors are Russian Stooges too aren’t they. Hilarious conspiracy theory BTW.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
6 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

I wouldn’t know about that! But I do know that Mr Bramovic (sorry about the spelling) who owns Chelsea football club is a close friend of Mr Putin and has also been advising him with his investments. Ms Angla Mercal was one of the top dogs in the East German Secret police at the same time as Mr Putin was working along side her in the KGB, and has made Germany reliant on Russian gas. Mr Putin OK’d the use of Chemical weapons in and assassination attempt in the UK which ended up killing UK citizen. Mr Putin OK’d the… Read more »

Matt
Matt
6 months ago

I don’t agree with John on much, but Steven’s reply is a parade of conspiracy theories.

Evidence?

(Plus for Putin’s authorisation of blowing up of gas storage facilities – the only one I know that blew up was last year in Russia!)

Last edited 6 months ago by Matt
JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt

You will get no proper answer, there is no actual evidence whatsoever for those statements, just unsubstantiated claims.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt

Who was talking of gas storage facilities, I was talking of the the 2 ammunition storage facilities in Europe that “mysteriously” went up in flames prier to his invasion of the Crimea or am I making that up as well !! The constant twisting of the facts and down right lies published in the West by the Putnisites has muddied the water so that no one can see through the mist of lies so it becomes OK to shoot down civilian airliners then just denies any knowledge, Sends assassins to the UK with weapons grade chemical weapons to assassinate an… Read more »

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
6 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

If the U.S. didn’t want Nord Stream 2 they wouldn’t have left it this late. Your analysis glides over the larger picture that has been Putin’s record in office at home and abroad for decades. Everyone can find the details themselves. From poisonings to blowing civilian aircraft out of the sky, Syria and Salisbury he has lied and deceived – fortunately mostly himself – across the globe. Pushing further into Ukraine will mostly likely bring down the German government and cap Nord Stream 2 permanently. Oh, and spying is coming over there in the west.

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

As I replied to Steven above, time will tell.

Tams
Tams
6 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Oh look, it’s our resident Ivan.

You were missing the other day. I’m guessing the article didn’t suit your agenda.

I do wish you’d stop being such a Russian apologist.

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  Tams

Just widen your horizons.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
6 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Time is hindsight. The future for Russia from here on is bleak. Forwards into disaster or backwards into disgrace.

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Sorry but you are wrong again. The future for Russia is amazing. Have you any idea just how much extra profit they are earning due to the EU’s catastrophic decision to go spot on gas pricing? Or the billions extra (they base their budget on $64 and now it is over $90) they are earning on oil? Or the extra they are earninhg due to the lower value of the Ruble? They are pouring money into their state banks like looking at Victoria Falls, and that money is from the West. The implications for us in the UK in particular… Read more »

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
6 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

The future as you pointed out elsewhere ‘remains to be seen’. I expect the average Russian can’t wait that long to experience the plentitude you describe; you and I however, can remain sanguine for entirely different reasons – we don’t live there. Gas is also a weapon in Russian hands and Europe, thanks to Russia’s aggressive posture – check Sweden’s response, not just the U.K.’s – will wake up to this before next winter. Spring is coming. Not quite speechless to disagree on behalf of a bully, liar and poisoner. Together the west has woken from its slumbers – now… Read more »

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Russia tends to spend its excess income on infrastructure rather than ‘bribes’ to its population. Winter still has a while to run in Central Europe and can still turn nasty as it did last year. All the time that the EU insists on spot pricing of gas they are vulnerable to energy traders’ view on the future. If they went back to their old long term contracts, like Hungary did, gas prices would immediately drop 80% (Hungary are now paying only just over 20% of what others around them are paying). Is that a Russian aggressive posture or the EU… Read more »

FieldLander
FieldLander
6 months ago

Hate11 descending into Fairford, now.

Rob
Rob
6 months ago

Anyone know what the RAF C17 is doing over north London today? Never seen that before. Almost as if they were practicing how to evacuate embassy staff from a major European capital….

Last edited 6 months ago by Rob
simon alexander
simon alexander
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Likely flying West into RAF Ruislip, I saw that this afternoon over Hendon although I thought it was a big grey A400

Rob
Rob
6 months ago

Hi Simon,
I only got a look at the tail so it could have been an A400m (they have similar tails). Yes Hendon would be about right heading west and low.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago

You mean RAF Northolt of course.

David_s
David_s
6 months ago

They say if B52s could fly upside chicken bones from Saigon would fall out… It is an interesting thing though, you actually have people who served as ground crew in the 60s and 70s whose hard work is still aiding the defence of their country, that is not to say the work of people who worked on airframes that are no longer in service was not time well invested but it is just amazing that maybe some guy with a spanner pulled off some magic in ’67 that is still very much on display in the sky to this day.… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
6 months ago

Off topic: I was buzzed several times today (lunchtime) by 3 F35’s doing low level runs around my part of the Brecons. Very swoopy.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Cool. Where I live there’s never anything to report save Chinooks! 🙄 Do you ever see any Ospreys in that area?

Ian M
Ian M
6 months ago

Yup, Ospreys, Chinooks , Merlin, C130, A400, Typhoons, the lot. Maybe something to do with all the rugged valleys and the local troops😎

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

Yep. Was the Osprey movements I’m particularly interested in.

Ian M
Ian M
5 months ago

I see none for weeks then there’s a flurry of Osprey activity, flying very low (and VERY noisily) up my valley, over the ridge line towards the East. Guessing it’s all to do with SF guys who wander around here.

Donaldson
Donaldson
6 months ago

4 acticles today on B-52s jeez, I’d bet the ad money is too good to pass up…

Sean
Sean
6 months ago

B52s practise bombing Scotland?
Probably a precautionary measure in case the SNP ever do get independence 😉

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 months ago
Reply to  Sean

They have arrived a bit late. If they could have attacked Murreyfield on friday last week maybe England wouldnt have had such a crap start to their 6 nations.
Off topic but why bring Marcus Smith off? The guy who has scored all the England points. Jones has lost the plot. Doesnt seem to be the master tsctitican he likes to claim to be.

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
6 months ago

Somewhat on topic, the USAF announced yesterday that there are now six B-21s in production with rollout and first flight this year.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 months ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

That will be very exciting. The B-2 will no longer be the best that everyone thinks of. Will be interesting to finally see a finished version flying around. I wonder how good it will really be. It’s been a long time since the B-2 was made

chris
chris
6 months ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Ahead of schedule and under budget!

That’s the real news!

Harry B
Harry B
5 months ago

This does highlight in someway how ill prepared the united states is for a peer on peer conflict. B52 in the CAS role worked great in Afghanstain where there was no enemy air defense threat, but if the same tactics are to be used against any sizable nations military it will be costly.

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
5 months ago
Reply to  Harry B

Why would the USAF use the same tactics if there was an enemy air defense threat? Do you think they’re too dumb to assess the situation and use different tactics and weapons? You might wish to familiarize yourself with just how many types of weapons a B-52 can carry; eg, 20 ALCMs.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
5 months ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

I am well aware that the b52 has a wide range of weapons and is an excellent strategic bomber. But strategic bombers don’t require FAC as it has in this case. It is well known that the B52 has been considered as a CAS platform for a while in both the DOD and USAF, as it was even mentioned as a possible A10 substitute in a Congress meeting. It’s not that I think the us military is dumb, it’s that I think their I’ll prepared. For the same reason they used high performance supersonic interceptors as CAS in Vietnam. Its… Read more »