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US supersonic bombers arrive in Australia

USAF B-1B Lancers. Image via Pacific Air Forces Twitter.

Two US Air Force (USAF) B-1B Lancers have arrived at RAAF Base Amberley as part of the US-Australia Force Posture Initiatives.

The USAF B-1B Lancers are long-range, multi-mission, supersonic conventional bomber aircraft and will be taking part in a training exercise with the Royal Australian Air Force.

Minister for Defence Marise Payne said the training will enable RAAF aircrew to meet flying qualifications and give them an opportunity to exercise with one of the world’s most technologically advanced armed forces.

"This training exercise is part of the United States-Australia Force Posture Initiatives Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) program, which builds on a range of air exercises and training activities already undertaken between the United States and Australia," Minister Payne said.

"The EAC program is a practical demonstration of Australia’s support for a strong and engaged US presence in the region."

EAC activities involve short-term rotations of US aircraft through Australia for up to two months at a time. The first EAC activity commenced in February 2017 at RAAF Base Tindal with 12 USAF F-22 Raptors conducting combined training with RAAF F/A-18 Hornets.

"The EAC activities will strengthen bilateral collaboration and interoperability between USAF and the RAAF, so that both air forces can operate together seamlessly," said Minister Payne.

Defence said EAC will also bring substantial economic benefits to northern Australia, with infrastructure works planned for both RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal.

This activity will be the fifth and final EAC activity in 2017. The exercise will involve USAF B-1Bs and RAAF aircraft conducting flying training in designated airspace away from RAAF Base Amberley.

US strategic bombers have visited Australia since the 1940s, with the first B-1B Lancer arriving in 1995.

US supersonic bombers arrive in Australia
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