Sept. 11 (UPI) — Three Texas-based B-1 bombers flew a 14-hour mission over the East Siberian Sea, near Russia, to Alaska this week in a show of force.
B-1 Lancer planes, assigned to the 345th Bomb Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, demonstrated how U.S. strategic bombers can “support any mission, anywhere around the globe at a moment’s notice,” a statement from the U.S. European Command said.
After the flight, a planned Bomber Task Force mission, the planes arrived at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, to prepare for a long-planned deployment to Europe.
While the area over the East Siberian Sea, in the Arctic Ocean, is regarded as international airspace, it is bounded only by Russia.
The flight to the easternmost section of EUCOM responsibility came after six B-52s arrived from the United States to Britain in August.
The aircraft have since flown missions over Europe, including over the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and northern Africa.
As the B-1s headed toward Russia’s eastern border, the U.S. B-52s separately joined U.S. F-15, F-16 and F-35 fighter planes in drills, with NATO partners, over the North Sea.
The European exercises prompted complaints from Russia, which launched several intercept flights in international airspace.