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B-1 Bombers Join Japan and South Korea in Show of Force Against North Korea

USAF B-1B bombers conducted a 10-hour sequenced bilateral mission with South Korean and Japanese fighter jets, July 7, in response to increasingly escalatory actions by North Korea, including a launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 3. Photo: Senior Airman Daniel Robles

A pair of U.S. Air Force B-1 Lancer bombers participated in a bilateral mission with South Korean F-15 and Japanese F-2 fighter jets on July 7, near the Korean Demilitarized Zone, in response to “increasingly escalatory actions” by North Korea, most recently on July 3 when they launched an an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test.

In a statement, the USAF says the mission was, “part of the continuing demonstration of the ironclad U.S. commitment to our allies against the growing threat from North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs.”

The bombers are assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and took off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for the 10 hour mission to practice attack capabilities and drop inert weapons in a precision strike training exercise at the Pilsung Range.

North Korea’s actions are a threat to our allies, partners and homeland,” Gen. Terrence O’ Shaughnessy, the Pacific Air Forces commander, said.

Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, fly with a Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) F-2 fighter jet over the East China Sea, July 7. Photo: Japan Air Self-Defense Force

Let me be clear, if called upon we are trained, equipped and ready to unleash the full lethal capability of our allied air forces.”

It’s the second show of force from the U.S. against North Korea in the last few days. The night following the launch July 4, U.S. and South Korean airmen joined for a missile test exercise off the Korean Peninsula.
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Mike Killian

Written by Mike Killian

Killian is an aerospace photographer and writer, with a primary focus on spaceflight and military and civilian aviation. Over the years his assignments have brought him onboard NASA's space shuttles, in clean rooms with spacecraft destined for other worlds, front row for launches of historic missions and on numerous civilian and military flight assignments.

When not working the California-native enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, storm chasing, producing time-lapses and shooting landscape and night sky imagery, as well as watching planes of course.

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