The two B-52s that flew unarmed and unescorted through a “no-fly zone” declared by China over uninhibited islands on Monday were part of the 20th Bomber Squadron at Barksdale, according to the website defensetech.org. The flyover came less than two days after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. would not recognize China’s supremacy over the areas, also claimed by Japan and Taiwan.
In August, Barksdale personnel and B-52H Stratofortress aircraft deployed to Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base in a six-month rotation with B-52s from Minot Air Force Base.
At the time of their deployment, Lt. Col. Scott Maylan, commander of the 20th BS told the Barksdale Observer that continuous bomber presence is a part of a “strategic pivot,” the United States has done toward the Pacific.
Maylan told the Observer that the day-to-day presence of the B-52s in Guam shows “our ability to fly our airplanes around the Pacific theater and support whatever contingencies we might be asked to do.”
Although we contacted the public affairs office at Barksdale AFB, they have not as yet returned our calls.