U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress Bombers arrive at RAAF Base Darwin to train with the Royal Australian Air Force as part of Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC).
Enhanced Air Cooperation builds on a broad range of combined air exercises and training activities undertaken between the US and Australia, which regularly involve visits by US Military aircraft to Australia.
Australia and the US commenced Enhanced Air Operations in February 2017, adding an extra dimension to the Force Posture Initiatives in Australia.
Five activities were completed under the EAC program for 2018.
Credit: Australian Department of Defence
March 29, 2018
In an article published on March 30, 2018 by Australian Aviation, the B-52s in Australia were highlighted as follows:
Up to three B-52s will be based at Darwin over the coming days – “early April” according to a Department of Defence statement – for exercises with RAAF F/A-18A Hornets, 4 Squadron PC-9A(F)s and Army and Air Force Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACS) at ranges near RAAF Base Williamtown, NSW.
The aircraft are currently based at Andersen Air Force base in Guam, as part of the US Pacific Air Force’s permanent rotation of B-52, B-1B and B-2 bombers there, under the Continuous Bomber Presence program. They form part of the six B-52s from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, that arrived on Guam in mid-January.
The Darwin deployment is part of the Enhanced Air Cooperation agreement with the US which has also seen B-1B Lancer bombers and F-22 Raptor fighters visit Australia.
RAAF Base Darwin also hosted USAF B-52s in 2012, 2014 and 2016 for previous training exercises.
In 2006 Australia became the first US ally to receive Joint Terminal Attack Controller accreditation from the US Joint Forces Command. ADF JTAC trainer is providing by Williamtown-based 4 Squadron, which operates the specially-modified PC-9A(F) variant of the RAAF’s PC-9/A turboprop trainer.