US Sends B-2 Bomber to Australia, What's the Purpose?


US Sends B-2 Bomber to Australia, What's the Purpose?
Admiral John Aquilino, the head of US Indo-Pacific Command, centre, in front of an American stealth B-2 bomber at Amberley air force base near Brisbane, Australia © Joshua Bryce Bruns/US Navy

International Military - While the world's focus is on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the US is "busy" sending troops to Australia to prevent war with China. On 27 March, a B-2 bomber was spotted on a mission with a number of other US Air Force and Australian Air Force (RAAF) fighter jets.

On the same occasion also seen two RAAF F-35A, two RAAF EA-18 Growler, two RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornet and two F-16C. This activity is a long-term exercise between the two countries.

Admiral John C. Aquilino of the US Indo-Pacific commander and RAAF Air Vice Marshal Joe Iervasi were on site to watch the B-2s. "We, with important allies like Australia, are eager to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific," Aquilino said.

“There are many reasons for us to keep advancing our security relationship. Provide deterrence, prevent war and maintain peace and stability in the region," he added.

Bomber B-2 for both countries

Bomber aircraft such as the B-2 can carry conventional to nuclear munitions. It is one of the most powerful aircraft of the US Air Force. Its operational range across continents and its payload capacity of up to 40,000 pounds, make it a great tool for strategic deterrence.

“Our job is to support combat commanders, and it always feels special to be in the Indo Pacific,” said US Air Force Lt. Col. Christopher Conant, commander of the 393rd Bomb Squadron.

“The main pillar of the national strategy is building relationships with our allies and partners,” he added at 19FortyFive.

Maintaining security in the Indo-Pacific

The US-Australia alliance is an important aspect of the US military. despite the conflicts in Eastern Europe, China remains a threat to US national security. In recent years, B-2 bombers have carried out various training missions in Australia, citing the EurAsian Times.

In 2016, a B-2 bomber was seen landing at the Royal Australian Air Force base Tindal. B-2 bombers flew over the Australian training area, while marines and their soldiers trained together to deal with such an attack. This incident happened in 2020.

In 2021, the B-1B Lancer traveled across Australia to operate on an RAAF-owned tanker. Last fall, the B-1 Lancer flew out of Diego Garcia for the first time in 15 years.

In recent years, the cooperation between the two countries has become closer, this is driven by the increasing importance of the Indo-Pacific region in an effort to counter China's influence in the region. Earlier this year it was reported that the US was setting up a large oil reservoir in Australia's Northern Territory to support military activities in the Indo-Pacific region.

With a capacity of 300 million liters, the USD 270 million project will be the largest purpose built gasoline storage facility in northern Australia.

Last November, the US sent more fighter jets to Australia, including the F-22 and F-35 to deter potential Chinese military aggression, the EurAsian Times reported. Meanwhile, over the last decade, the partnership between the two countries has also penetrated into the maritime sector. On the east coast of Australia will be built a nuclear submarine station.

The USD 7.4 billion facility will support Australia's new fleet of nuclear submarines which are expected to be purchased under the AUKUS agreement.

It doesn't stop there, the US-Australia cooperation is also spreading into space. Last March 22, Canberra established a space command, in line with the US Air Force. “Space is becoming more “dense” and already contested. This is because the line between competition and conflict is "grey" there," said the Australian Defense Minister.

But keep in mind, the partnership between the two countries will be stronger depending on China's military growth. Australia's concerns over its country's sovereignty and economic interests are growing as a result of China's agenda in the region.

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