RESIDENTS of Gloucestershire could catch a glimpse of some giant US bomber planes over the next couple of weeks.

B-52 aircraft from the 2nd Bomb Wing have been deployed to RAF Fairford until next Friday (June 16).

Having arrived on Thursday, the aircraft are being used “in support of exercises BALTOPS, Saber Strike and Arctic Challenge taking place in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility”, said a base spokesman.

“The deployment of strategic bombers strengthens the effectiveness of RAF Fairford as the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa’s forward operating bomber location.”

The spokesman went on to say, the deployment of the bombers also provides “important integration and interaction with our joint partners, UK and NATO allies”.

Alongside the bomber aircraft, US Air Force Global Strike Command has also deployed approximately 800 airmen to the Cotswold base.

The exercises will see the deployed airmen working alongside more than 14 allied and partner nations.

RAF Fairford serves as the US’s primary forward operating location for heavy bombers in Europe.

As such, the base plays a key role in the combined exercises that allow the US Air Force to build the enduring relationships necessary to confront a broad range of global challenges.

Due to operational requirements, there may be a need to conduct maintenance and flight operations during RAF Fairford’s quiet hours.

If you have any questions or concerns about the deployment, you can contact the 501st Combat Support Wing at 01480 843920 or email

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: