US is negotiating a plan with Australia to rotate long-range bombers
and tankers, including the nuclear-capable B-1 bomber. Last year
Australia denied a US official said such plans were in motion.
in the process of talking about rotational forces, bombers and
tankers out of Australia and it gives us the opportunity to train
with Australia," Commander
of US Pacific Air Forces, General Lori Robinson, told journalists in
Canberra as cited by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
gives us the opportunity to strengthen the ties we already have with
the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and it gives the opportunity to
train our pilots to understand the theater and how important it is to
strengthen our ties with our great allies, the RAAF," she dded.
bombers would be hosted on rotational basis at air bases in Tindal
and Darwin in northern Australia, according to US officials. In
addition to hosting B-1 bombers the US may expand B-52 bomber
missions from Australia, which it already flies, said Lt. Col. Damien
Pickart, a spokesman for the US Air Force in the Pacific.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declined to comment on the
can just assure you that everything we do in this area is very
carefully determined to ensure that our respective military forces
work together as closely as possible in our mutual national
told reporters on Wednesday.
Minister for Defence Marise Payne confirmed that US Air Force would
have a larger presence in the country, but would not go into details.
Enhanced Air Cooperation Initiative, which is part of the Force
Posture Initiative, is in development and will result in increased
rotations of US Air Force elements through northern Australia," she
May, Australia’s previous leadership denied plans to host B-1
bombers after US Defense Department Assistant Secretary David Shear
told a Senate committee that the Pentagon would be "placing
additional air force assets in Australia" including "B-1
bombers and surveillance aircraft." Then-Prime
Minister Tony Abbot said the American official “misspoke.”
US seeks stronger military presence in the Pacific amid a growing
confrontation with Australia’s biggest trade partner, China, over
control for crucial trade routes in the South China Sea. China and
several other regional governments contest sovereignty over a group
of islands in the sea.
America has no territorial claims of its own, it insists that the
area in question should be considered international space with no
nation able to restrict access to it. US warships and planes conduct
regular ‘Freedom of Navigation’ missions trough the China-claimed
waters and airspace, which Beijing rebukes as provocative.
called on Australia to follow the US example.
would encourage all nations in the region to do just that, just as
the United States is doing,” she