Pentagon Sends Heavy Bombers to Europe for Training

Three B-52 nuclear-capable bombers headed to Europe on Tuesday to partake in training with allied nations there, the U.S. military announced.

The deployment would serve to familiarize Air Force crews with "airbases and operations in the region," according to a U.S. Strategic Command news release. One of the "Stratofortress" bombers later this week is scheduled to take part in the 70th anniversary celebrations of D-Day, which marks the Allies' landing in Normandy, France, during World War 2.

"The training and integration of strategic forces demonstrates to our nation's leaders and our allies that we have the right mix of aircraft and expertise to respond to a variety of potential threats and situations," Strategic Command chief Adm. Cecil Haney was quoted as saying in the statement.

News of the Pentagon's bomber training mission comes amid a flurry of recent activities by the United States and Russia aimed at flexing their respective military muscles. Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine earlier this year has led to tensions between the superpowers not seen since the Cold War.

Also on Tuesday, a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer left the shores of Virginia to make its way across the Atlantic to a naval base in Rota, Spain, the Associated Press reported. The USS Ross is equipped with an Aegis radar system, which enables the tracking and interception of enemy ballistic missiles.

The ship is the second to be permanently home-ported in Rota under a three-stage Obama administration plan for beefing up missile defense systems in Europe for the event of an Iranian attack. Two more vessels are slated to follow by the end of the year, bringing the entire contingent to four.

June 4, 2014
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Three B-52 nuclear-capable bombers headed to Europe on Tuesday to partake in training with allied nations there, the U.S. military announced.