US Air Force (USAF) has deployed its B-52 Stratofortress aircraft in Qatar to counter Islamic State (IS) threat in Iraq and Syria.
"The B-52 will provide the coalition continued precision and deliver desired airpower effects,” said Lt. Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the commander of USAF Central Command and Combined Forces Air Component Saturday.
“As a multi-role platform, the B-52 offers diverse capabilities including delivery of precision weapons and the flexibility and endurance needed to support the combatant commanders’ priorities and strengthen the coalition team," said Brown.
The B-52 is a long-range heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions including strategic attack, close-air support, air interdiction and maritime operations.
"The B-52 demonstrates our continued resolve to apply persistent pressure on (IS) and defend the region in any future contingency,” Brown said.
This deployment is the first basing of the B-52s in the US Central Command area of responsibility in 26 years. The B-52s were based in Saudi Arabia supporting Operation Desert Storm. The B-52s were last flown operationally during Operation Enduring Freedom in May 2006, and during Exercise Eager Lion, a USCENTCOM-led multilateral exercise in Jordan, in May 2015.