Nov. 24 (UPI) — Two U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress aircraft participated in exercises led by Colombia and Ecuador earlier this month.
According to the Air Force, on Nov. 8 the aircraft participated in Brother’s Shield, which was led by the Colombian air force, and in UNITAS LXI, led this year by Ecuador — but the mission began well beforehand.
Brother’s Shield was the first mission to be completed celebrating the Colombian Air Force’s 101st anniversary. During the exercise, the B-52H crews supported Colombian air force Kfir fighter aircraft pilots in air-to-air interception training, which includes flying in formation to form a shield against enemy combatants.
“Anytime we have the privilege to integrate with our allies in a fighter integration or naval exercise, we are excited,” U.S. Air Force Capt. Joshua Henry, 96th Bomb Squadron B-52H pilot and mission lead, said in a press release.
The B-52 crews integrated and trained with joint forces for UNITAS, an annual multinational naval exercise conducted in the Atlantic and Pacific waters near Central and South America. That exercise drew participants from 11 countries from Nov. 2 through Nov. 11.
This year’s UNITAS exercise was led by Ecuadorian forces, and B-52 crews integrated and trained with joint forces to provide a simulated dynamic targeting capability for naval forces.
“I haven’t worked with the Colombian or Ecuadorian militaries before, but anytime that we as a community have an opportunity to work with partner nations, we always learn a lot,” Henry said. “Colombia and Ecuador were very professional, and a lot of our lessons learned were developed from the planning stages.”