Andersen bids farewell to 20th EBS, 96th assumes CBP mission

by Airman 1st Class Gerald Willis, Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs
Stripes Guam

The 96th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron (EBS) from Barksdale Air Force Base (AFB), La., assumed responsibility of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command's (INDOPACOM) Continuous Bomber Presence (CBP) missions from the 20th EBS, July 19, here.

After a six-month deployment in the Indo-Pacific theater, the 20th EBS has returned home to Barksdale AFB. While in Guam, the squadron flew deterrence missions and conducted a variety of joint and bilateral training missions with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force), Republic of Korea Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force.

“It was an honor for the 20th crews to serve in the Indo-Pacific region by deterring our enemies and assuring our allies,” said Lt. Col. Maxwell DiPietro, 20th EBS commander. “They were great representatives of both Air Force Global Strike Command and Pacific Air Forces throughout the deployment.”

Much of the success of these missions can be credited to the Airmen that worked around the clock to keep the B-52s mission ready. Airmen from the 20th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, the 36th Maintenance Group and the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron directly contributed to the B-52's accomplishing all U.S. INDOPACOM’s directed missions.

Moving forward, the 96th EBS will fulfill all roles of U.S. INDOPACOM’s CBP missions on Guam. The 96th EBS’s repeated combat and operational experience from the U.S. Central Command theater brings a unique perspective to the Indo-Pacific.

“We are excited to get to work projecting air power and start flying with our counterparts in the region,” said Lt. Col. Aaron Hendrick, 96th EBS commander. “We will maintain flexible bomber capabilities … and reassure our allies of our commitment to peace in the region.”

The employment of CBP missions in the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility, conducted since March 2004, are in accordance with international law and are vital to the principles that are the foundation of the rules-based global operating system.

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