Three B-2 strategic nuclear bombers completed a tour of duty in Guam this week, as tensions remained high between the United States and China over what the Pentagon called a “dangerous” Chinese fighter-jet intercept of a U.S. surveillance plane last week.
Adm. Haney said in a statement that the bombers are intended to send a message to allies and adversaries.
“It is important for U.S. Strategic Command to continue to project global strike capabilities and extended deterrence against potential adversaries while providing assurance to our allies through deployments such as this,” he said.
The deployment is part of Strategic Command’s efforts to promote regional security and stability in the Asia-Pacific. He noted that the command’s forces “are on watch 24-hours a day, seven days a week conducting operations to detect and deter strategic attack against the United States of America and our allies.”
“Strategic bomber deployments such as these are just one way in which U.S. Stratcom supports [the Pacific Command] in accomplishing that stability,” the admiral said.
The bat-wing stealth bombers spent most of August based on the U.S. western Pacific island conducting what the Air Force described as activities designed to “increase combat readiness.”
The B-2s, which can carry nuclear and conventional weapons, are part of U.S. extended deterrence missions designed to bolster non-nuclear allies like Japan and South Korea that are squaring off against nuclear-armed China and North Korea.
It is the first B-2 deployment for an extended period in over two years. The last strategic bomber deployments took place in January 2012.
The deployment overlapped the Aug. 19 aerial encounter between a Navy P-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft and a Chinese Su-27 jet interceptor over the South China Sea.
CHINA’S KILLER DRONES
China’s military carried out a missile firing from one of its new unmanned aerial vehicles this week, highlighting Beijing’s first reported use of an armed drone.
State-run news agency Xinhua reported Tuesday that military drones were a prominent feature of large-scale military exercises underway in Inner Mongolia as part of the Beijing-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), an anti-U.S. alliance of China, Russia and several Central Asian nations.
The drone was not identified by type and fired “several missiles” during drills, according to Chinese military officials.
Full article: Inside the Ring: B-2 bombers’ ‘messages’ (Washington Times)