WASHINGTON – U.S. military bomber aircraft conducted back to-back bilateral military exercises with allies South Korea and Japan in the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula on Tuesday, in what amounted to the latest show of force against North Korea.
The two U.S. B-1B Lancers, launching from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, carried out the drills in the vicinity of the Sea of Japan and East Sea with aircraft from the South Korean air force and Japan Self-Defense Force.
South Korea’s Yonhap News, quoting the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the exercise as a simulated air-to-ground missile-firing drill.
The U.S. Pacific Air Forces described the mission in a statement as the first time U.S. Pacific Command B-1B Lancers conducted combined training with Japanese and South Korean fighters aircraft at night.
“The recent mission, flown as part of U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence mission, demonstrates how U.S. military forces in the Indo-Asia-Pacific are always ready to defend the American homeland and how the U.S. stands resolutely with Japan and [South Korea] to honor their unshakeable alliance commitments to safeguard security and stability,” the U.S. Pacific Air Forces said.
The Continuous Bomber Presence mission refers to the rotating squadron of long-range B-1 bombers stationed in Guam.
The move came as tensions still stand high between North Korea and the U.S.