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Minot B-52 sortie confirms regional commitment during Colombia mission

A B-52H Stratofortress sits on the flight line at Minot Air Force Base,
N.D., July 9, 2015. Two crews took flight in the early hours of the morning
to participate in a 16-hour mission in support of an air show in Rio Negro,
Colombia. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Morris)

A B-52H Stratofortress sits on the flight line at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., July 9, 2015. Two crews took flight in the early hours of the morning to participate in a 16-hour mission in support of an air show in Rio Negro, Colombia. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Morris)

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress can be seen flying over the Jose Maria Cordova International Airport during a flyover demonstration at the Colombian International Air Festival, July 9, 2015 in Rionegro, Colombia. The aircraft took off from its home station at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to conduct a 16-hour, long-range training mission which included the flyover in Colombia. The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range strategic aircraft capable of traveling 8,800 miles before refueling. (U.S. Air Force photo by MSgt. Kristina Newton/Released)

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress can be seen flying over the Jose Maria Cordova International Airport during a flyover demonstration at the Colombian International Air Festival, July 9, 2015 in Rionegro, Colombia. The aircraft took off from its home station at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to conduct a 16-hour, long-range training mission which included the flyover in Colombia. The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range strategic aircraft capable of traveling 8,800 miles before refueling. (U.S. Air Force photo by MSgt. Kristina Newton/Released)

A crowd watches the arrival of a U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress at the Jose Maria Cordova International Airport during a flyover demonstration at the Colombian International Air Festival, July 9, 2015 in Rionegro, Colombia. The aircraft took off from its home station at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to conduct a 16-hour, long-range training mission which included the flyover in Colombia. The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range strategic aircraft capable of traveling 8,800 miles before refueling. (U.S. Air Force photo by MSgt. Kristina Newton/Released)

A crowd watches the arrival of a U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress at the Jose Maria Cordova International Airport during a flyover demonstration at the Colombian International Air Festival, July 9, 2015 in Rionegro, Colombia. The aircraft took off from its home station at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to conduct a 16-hour, long-range training mission which included the flyover in Colombia. The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range strategic aircraft capable of traveling 8,800 miles before refueling. (U.S. Air Force photo by MSgt. Kristina Newton/Released)

Kevin Whitaker, United States Ambassador to Colombia, poses with Lt. Gen. Chris Nowland, Commander 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) as a U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress completes a flyover demonstration at the Colombian International Air Festival, July 9, 2015 in Rionegro, Colombia. The aircraft, which can be seen in the background, took off from its home station at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to conduct a 16-hour, long-range training mission which included the flyover in Colombia. The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range strategic aircraft capable of traveling 8,800 miles before refueling. (U.S. Air Force photo by MSgt. Kristina Newton/Released)

Kevin Whitaker, United States Ambassador to Colombia, poses with Lt. Gen. Chris Nowland, Commander 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) as a U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress completes a flyover demonstration at the Colombian International Air Festival, July 9, 2015 in Rionegro, Colombia. The aircraft, which can be seen in the background, took off from its home station at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to conduct a 16-hour, long-range training mission which included the flyover in Colombia. The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range strategic aircraft capable of traveling 8,800 miles before refueling. (U.S. Air Force photo by MSgt. Kristina Newton/Released)

Lt. Col. Monte Wiley, 69th Bomb Squadron pilot (left), completes pre-flight
check as Capt. Kristin Nelson, 23rd BS pilot (right), listens to input from
other crew members inside their B-52H Stratofortress at Minot Air Force
Base, N.D., July 9, 2015. Wiley and Nelson piloted one of two B-52H
Stratofortresses participating in a 16-hour mission to support an air show
in Rio Negro, Colombia. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie
Morris)

Lt. Col. Monte Wiley, 69th Bomb Squadron pilot (left), completes pre-flight check as Capt. Kristin Nelson, 23rd BS pilot (right), listens to input from other crew members inside their B-52H Stratofortress at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., July 9, 2015. Wiley and Nelson piloted one of two B-52H Stratofortresses participating in a 16-hour mission to support an air show in Rio Negro, Colombia. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Morris)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- A B-52 Stratofortress assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., embarked July 9 on a 16-hour, non-stop mission to Colombia.

During the mission to the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) area of responsibility, which was closely coordinated with the Colombian Ministry of National Defense, the aircraft conducted a flyover demonstration at the Feria Aeronautica Internacional Rionegro (F-AIR) Colombia 2015 International Air Show. 

"USSTRATCOM aircraft regularly conduct training with and in support of the Geographic Combatant Commands, our Allies and regional partners around the world," said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Strategic Command commander.  "The aircraft's participation in this airshow and the training conducted alongside our Colombian partners allow our strategic aircrews to maintain a high state of readiness and crew proficiency."

According to Gen. John F. Kelly, USSOUTHCOM commander, the flight also demonstrates the U.S. commitment to regional security and the recognition of Colombia as a key regional partner. 

"Our support to Colombia is based on more than just a shared history; it is based on Colombia's enduring importance to our national security. Training missions such as these ensure effective cooperation between our countries," said Kelly.

This is not the first time a B-52 has flown to or conducted training in the Central American, South American or Caribbean regions. A B-52 participated in USSOUTHCOM's annual Exercise PANAMAX in August 2014. The U.S. also participated at the F-AIR Colombia International Air Show twice in the past decade, with participation of a B-52 in 2006 and a B-1B Lancer in 2008.

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