A B-52 bomber departed RAF Fairford at 11:37pm on Sunday night and returned to base at 10:52pm on Monday.

The aircraft therefore spent around 23 hours and 25 minutes in the air.

The bomber took off and flew around Portugal and Spain, crossing the strait of Gibraltar and heading into the Mediterranean before flying to Saudi Arabia and returning.

Here’s her route.

She also flew with Israeli jets during the deployment.

The bomber originally had company, the two bomber aircraft, callsigns CHIEF11 and CHIEF12 headed south together before CHIEF12 returned to the United Kingdom, cutting short its mission, after suffering an ‘urgent issue’.

A source told me:

“I can’t go into anything on the record but there was an issue and the aircraft is returning to the United Kingdom as a safety precaution.”

B-52 bomber returns to the UK declaring ‘urgent situation’

The aircraft arrived in the UK earlier this week. In an audio clip, Typhoon jets can be heard to welcome American B-52 aircraft to the United Kingdom whilst over the coast of western Scotland.

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

According to 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. 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.”

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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John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago

That must have been absolutely bloody miserable for the poor crew!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago

Thank God it wasn’t an F35 😂 Have an enjoyable day everyone! Navair Projects F-35 to Need 50 Maintenance Hours per Flight Hour Four years into their operational career, F-35 fighters are expected to require between 41.75 and 50.1 maintenance man-hours (MMH) per flight hours, or about three times as many as most fighter aircraft currently operated by Western air forces.  This extremely high MMH to flight hour ratio is extrapolated from a Dec. 01 solicitation filed by the US Naval Air Systems Command, and which states that the world-wide in-service fleet of F-35s will require 17 million man-hours… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Some more positive news albeit off-topic which might please some people on UKDJ?

“The United States and United Kingdom have signed an agreement to share information on the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programme.

Signed on 14 February, the FVL Co-operative Program Feasibility Assessment agreement will see both countries work to ensure the future interoperability of their rotorcraft requirements and programmes, at the same time as exploring and analysing new concepts for the employment of such air power.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/defence/latest/us-uk-sign-fvl-co-operation-agreement

boeing-skorsky-defiant-2-736x.jpg
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Yes read that last week and certainly welcome I’m sure we can all agree.

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
1 month ago

There must have been a supplementary crew on board surely? Crew duty hours have just flown out of the window otherwise. Its a far cry from days of Linebacker 1 & 2 I seem to remember an aerial photo of Guam nose to tail of D model buffs quite an impressive sight along with 135s. I was in Guam on a night stop when I was on a global, I was on VC10s at the time and we were the only aircraft on the ramp back in the 90s. If you like snakes go visit Guam.

Richard B
Richard B
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

I am assuming they have more than two pilots. Plus they must have bunks.
A bit like when Coaches go on European tours they have space for a extra drivers sleeping quarters.

David Flandry
David Flandry
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard B

Yes and yes. That has been the case on B-52s since the beginning. There is a galley also.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago

24hrs in the Air my god tedious I have the same problem looking for a Parking Spot

Esteban
Esteban
1 month ago

B-52’s have been doing this since the 50’s.

Isaac
Isaac
1 month ago

Russia needs to see with the rest of the world that we need peace around the globe.

Michael Arnold
Michael Arnold
1 month ago

Just imagine the amount of pollution. Those things should be grounded.

Jonno
Jonno
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Arnold

I think they are getting new R-R engines.