September 13, 2016 (by MSgt. Jeremy Larlee) - In a demonstration of the ironclad commitment to the Republic of Korea's defense, two United States Air Force B-1B Lancers from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam conducted a low-level flight Sept. 13 over Osan, South Korea, in response to a recent provocative action by North Korea Sept. 9.
USAF F-16s assigned to the 36th FS escort a B-1B Lancer from Andersen AFB during a flyover over of Osan AB on September 13th, 2016. [USAF photo by Victor J. Caputo]
The B-1Bs were joined in flight by ROK F-15K Slam Eagles and U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons.
During a press event following the event ROK and U.S. military leadership talked about the importance of strengthening their alliance and continuing to respond strongly to North Korea’s continued aggressive behavior.
"North Korea’s nuclear test is a dangerous escalation and poses an unacceptable threat,” said U.S. Army Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, U.S. Forces Korea commander. "The United States has an unshakeable commitment to defend allies in the region and will take necessary steps to do so, including operations like this one today, and the deployment of the Terminal high Altitude Air Defense battery to the Korean Peninsula.”
General Lee, Sun Jin, Chairman of the Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that further nuclear testing by North Korea would only hasten the demise of the government.
"As we have warned multiple times, if North Korea conducts military provocations they will be met with a firm response from us that will shake the very foundation of their regime,” said Lee.
The B-1B is capable of carrying the largest payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory. It can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time. The aircraft holds almost 50 world records for speed, payload, range, and time of climb in its class.
Brooks concluded his statements by stating that the bomber was just one item in a multi-dimensional toolbox the alliance has to maintain stability and security on the Korean Peninsula.
"What you saw today is not the limit of our capability and there should be no mistake about the full array of capabilities we have at our disposal,” said Brooks. "The Alliance military forces remain ready to meet mutual defense obligations against threats to the security of the Korean peninsula and the region.”