MINOT AIR FORCE BASE - The approximately 200 airmen from Minot Air Force Base who were scheduled to leave the base Friday for Guam are from one of the two base B-52 squadrons and also from the maintenance group.
Lt. Jose Davis, deputy chief of Public Affairs at the Minot base, said members of the 23rd Bomb Squadron with six B-52s and the 5th Maintenance Group are the units involved in the deployment to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.
Lt. Col. Brandon Parker is commander of the 23rd.
A B-52 bomber with the 23rd Bomb Squadron at Minot Air Force Base is shown in this December 2012 photo. Six B-52s from the 23rd, and about 200 airmen from the 23rd and the 5th Maintenance Group, were deployed to Andersen AFB in Guam Friday.
Davis said the deployment to Guam is for an ongoing military effort to provide a continuous bomber presence in the Western Pacific.
The continuous bomber presence of U.S. Air Force bombers in the Western Pacific has been ongoing since March 2004, base officials said.
Members of the 69th Bomb Squadron, the other B-52 squadron at Minot AFB, returned home late last year from Guam after being away for six months. The 96th from Barksdale AFB, La., the only other base with B-52s, then replaced the 69th in Guam.
When the 69th returned last year it was the first time in a year since both B-52 squadrons at Minot AFB were at home at the base. The 23rd had been deployed prior to the 69th. Now it is being deployed again as part of the rotation.
Andersen AFB in Guam has been host to U.S. Pacific Command's continuous bomber presence. The rotation of bomber aircraft is to enhance regional security and demonstrate the United States' commitment to stability in the Asia-Pacific region.