In the context of tensions between China and Taiwan, the US Air Force strengthens its deterrence capabilities with the arrival of B-1B bombers to Guam

During last week, The United States Air Force (USAF) has deployed a squadron of B-1B Lancer bombers to Andersen Air Base, located in Guam. The transfer of these aircraft responds to the increase in tensions in the region due to the recent inauguration of Taiwanese president Lai Ching-Te, who is known for his pro-independence rhetoric and who has raised alerts in China, observing the start of military exercises large scale surrounding the island in response.

It is known that the B-1B bombers deployed by the United States Air Force belong to the 28th Bomb Wing of the Global Strike Command based at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, which after moving to settle At the Andersen base, they began to operate as the 37th Expeditionary Bomber Squadron. It should be noted that this group of aircraft is the second to arrive in Guam this month, taking into account that at the beginning of the month a B-52 Bomber Group had been deployed after its participation in military exercises with the Philippines, also responding to its own tensions with the Asian Giant.

Following this line, the Pentagon press secretary, Air Force Major General Patrick S. Ryder, declared: “The Department remains confident in the current US force posture and operations in the Indo-Pacific region with our allies and partners to safeguard peace, stability and our national security (…) We have closely followed the joint military exercises of the People’s Liberation Army in the Taiwan Strait and around Taiwan. “We have communicated our concerns both publicly and directly.”

It should be remembered that as part of the Chinese military deployment around Taiwan between May 23 and 25, a total of 49 aircraft of the Navy and Air Force of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were detected in the Identification Zone. Taiwanese air defense system (ADIZ). To them were added the participation of 19 ships from the PLA Navy and 7 from the Chinese Coast Guard. The carrying out of these activities, also known as Joint Sword 2024, have been carried out in order to “Block the escape of ‘Taiwan independence’ separatists and break their comfort zone” as reported by the BBC from the words of a Chinese official.

It should be clarified that although it is evident that the US Air Force seeks to respond to these provocations, this has not been publicly announced as the objective of the deployment of the B-1B Lancer. The words that the force used speak of a mission “routine“; However, one cannot lose sight of statements such as those cited by the press secretary, or those of Lieutenant Colonel Christian Hoover, Commander of the 37th Expeditionary Bomber Squadron who stated: ““When the 37th trains alongside allies and partners, we have the opportunity to strengthen our bomber deterrence capabilities and demonstrate interoperability to collectively strengthen our ability to support a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

*Image credits: US Air Force

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