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Four U.S. B-1Bs return to Guam

Posted July. 20, 2020 07:57,   

Updated July. 20, 2020 07:57


Four B-1B bombers, dubbed “deadly swans,” have returned to Guam. Two of them conducted bilateral training with Japan near the Korean Peninsula before arriving in Guam sending a message to both China and North Korea.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said two B-1B Lancers, which took off from the mainland on Saturday, landed in Guam after flying over East Sea near Japan and the Korean Peninsula. They conducted bilateral intercept training with fighters of Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) to enhance readiness and interoperability.

United States Indo-Pacific Command released a picture of four B-1Bs approaching the runway, saying that two more B-1Bs were deployed in Guam on Sunday. The additional two bombers reportedly flew over Hawaii after taking off from the mainland and arrived in Guam.

Washington withdrew five B-52 bombers in April that were deployed in Guam before sending four B-1B Lancers in May, which returned to the mainland the following month. The B-1Bs are now back in Guam again after a month. U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said they were “deployed to support strategic deterrence missions to reinforce the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific region.”

The recent deployment is seen as an effort to keep China in check and deter North Korea’s provocations. The B-1Bs in Guam are currently not equipped with nuclear weapons, but they are some of the strategic assets that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is most afraid of as they can fly over to the Korean Peninsula and target major spots of Pyongyang with high precision, all within two to three hours.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com