B-1 Bombers and Fighter Escorts Fly Across NLL in International Waters in the Sea of Japan

Here is the latest show force executed by the United States this weekend in response to North Korea’s threats:

In this photo made available by the Department of Defense, a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, prepares to take off from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam to the Korean Peninsula on Saturday. [YONHAP]

The Pentagon flew its Air Force B-1B Lancer strategic bombers Saturday east of North Korea, near the demilitarized zone, demonstrating U.S. President Donald Trump’s resolve.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced later that day that the bombers flew from Guam, escorted by F-15C Eagle fighters from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, to international airspace over waters east of North Korea.

“This is the farthest north of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) any U.S. fighter or bomber aircraft have flown off North Korea’s coast in the 21st century,” said Pentagon Spokesperson Dana White, “underscoring the seriousness with which we take reckless behavior.”

The B-1B, dubbed “the swan of death,” is considered one of three main strategic bombers of the U.S. Air Force, alongside the B-52 and B-2 bombers. It is able to deliver a heavier payload than the B-52 and B-2 bombers, and is also quicker than the other two, capable of reaching the Korean Peninsula from Guam in two hours.

“This mission is a demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the President has many military options to defeat any threat,” White said, underscoring the “grave threat” that the North’s weapons program poses to the Asia-Pacific region and the international community.

She continued, “We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the U.S. homeland and our allies.”  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.

US and South Korea Conduct Show of Force Bombing Drill

They US has went back to its usual play in its playbook to respond to North Korean provocations:

Four U.S. F-35B stealth jets and two B-1B strategic bombers, along with South Korean F15-K fighters, conduct a bombing drill on the Korean Peninsula on Sept. 18, 2017, in response to North Korea’s latest nuclear and ballistic missile tests, in this photo provided by the air force. (Yonhap)

A day after US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley admitted that with the latest round of sanctions the Security Council has just about reached the limits of China’s and Russia’s tolerance – and that the US will now need to explore other diplomatic, and possibly military, options, US forces joined with their South Korea counterparts for another “show of strength” meant for North Korea.

Both Haley and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appeared on the Sunday talk shows to stress – using language that’s ringing increasingly hollow – that the administration wouldn’t hesitate to authorize a military response to the North should diplomacy fail.

And to demonstrate that, four US F-35 stealth fighters and two B-1B bombers conducted another round of “mock bombing exercises” over the Korean peninsula on Monday, according to Reuters. The US aircraft, which were joined by four South Korea F-15K fighter jets, returned to their bases in Japan and Guam after the exercise, but the latest demonstration of western capabilities likely assures that Kim Jong Un, who views such exercises in the same way the international community views his missile launches, will seek to retaliate with his own show of force.  [Zero Hedge]

You can read more at the link, but Kim Jong-un was probably took more notice of the Sino-Russian drill that took place near his border with Russia:

Meanwhile, China and Russia conducted joint military exercises of their own near the Russian far eastern port of Vladivostok. The drills are the latest sign that the two powers, which have sought to serve as mediators between the US and North – though neither belligerent has so far taken the two countries’ offer to arrange diplomatic talks – are taking joint precautions should the conflict boil over into war, according to Reuters, which cited a report from China’s Xinhua news agency. Although it is unclear if the message is meant for fat Uncle Kim or not so fat Uncle Slam.

Those drills were conducted between Peter the Great Bay, near Vladivostok, and the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, to the north of Japan. Those drills were part of joint China-Russian naval exercises, the first part of which was staged in the Baltic in July. Of course, Xinhua did not directly link the drills to current tension over North Korea.  [Zero Hedge]

You can read more at the link.

US Responds to North Korean Missile Launch with Exercise Bombing Strike

This is turning into what seems a monthly activity, North Korea shoots a missile and the US military responds with a practice bombing strike:

Two days after North Korea flew a missile over Japan, the United States and South Korea staged their own show of force with state-of-the-art stealth fighters Thursday.

Four US F-35B fighter jets joined two US B-1B bombers and four South Korean F-15 fighter jets in the joint US-South Korean flyover of the Korean Peninsula, an official with the South Korean air force told CNN.
The exercise was designed to “strongly counter North Korea’s repeated ballistic missile tests and development of nuclear weapons,” the official said.
In a statement, the air force said the US bombers flew out of Guam and four stealth fighter jets from a US Marine Corps base in Japan.
They conducted a mock bombing drill, which simulated a surgical strike of key enemy facilities, over the Pilsung Range in the eastern province of Gangwon.  [CNN]
You can read more at the link.

US Military Conducts Another Show of Force After North Korea’s 2nd ICBM Test

At this point does anyone think these shows of force make any difference in the decision making process of the Kim regime or this just the US military showing we are doing something?:

A U.S. B-1B bomber (L) flies over Korea along with a South Korean F-15K fighter on July 30, 2017 in this photo provided by the Air Force. (Yonhap)

Two B1-B U.S. bombers flew over South Korea on Sunday in a show of force against North Korea after its launch of another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the allies’ armed forces announced.

The strategic bombers from Guam conducted a joint “air interdiction operation” with four F-15K fighter jets, said South Korea’s Air Force.

It came in response to North Korea’s repeated ballistic missile launches and nuclear weapons development.

“Our Air Force maintains the precision-strike capability and readiness to burn the enemy’s missile base and its key facilities, including its leadership stronghold to the ground,” South Korea’s Air Force Operations Commander Lt. Gen. Won In-cheol said in a statement. “If the enemy provokes, we will respond immediately and retaliate powerfully.”  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

US Flies B-1 Bombers Over South Korea Again as Show of Force Against North Korea

Here is the typical response from the Pentagon to North Korean provocations:

A U.S. B-1B bomber drops an inert bomb on a mock target during its joint drill with South Korea’s fighter jets on July 8, 2017, in this photo provided by the Air Force. (Yonhap)

Two U.S. long-range strategic bombers flew over the Korean Peninsula on Saturday in a stern warning to North Korea for its long-range missile launch last week.

The B-1B Lancers based in Guam practiced “attack capabilities,” accompanied by South Korea’s F-15K and the U.S. Air Force’s F-16 fighter jets, for several hours in the joint show of force, according to the allies.

In a rare move, they made public a photo and footage of the bombers dropping inert GBU-56 laser guided bombs onto a mock target at the Pilsung range in Gangwon Province.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link, but of interest is that the ROK Air Force escorted the B-1’s across the Korean peninsula and then handed off the escort to the Japanese Air Self Defense Force who escorted the bombers across the East China Sea back to Guam after the flight over the Korean peninsula.  That is actually great to see the cooperation between the ROK and Japan which I am sure the Kim regime took notice of.

Picture of the Day: B1 Bomber Participates in Key Resolve 2017

U.S. bomber participates in joint drill with S. Korea

A U.S. strategic B-1B bomber engages in a joint drill with South Korea fighter jets on March 22, 2017, over the Korean Peninsula. The drill was part of the annual military maneuvers between the two countries, which has been boosted this year with the backdrop of North Korea’s repeated nuclear and missile provocations and an expected hard-line policy by the U.S. (Photo provided by South Korean Air Force) (Yonhap)

B-1 Bomber Lands for the First Time In 20 Years In South Korea

It looks like the US military is trying to find different ways to respond to North Korean provocations other than simply flying over the peninsula:

Two U.S. Air Force B-1B strategic bombers this week made the closest-ever flight to North Korea to warn the communist country against any further provocations, the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) said Thursday.

North Korea conducted its fifth underground nuclear test on Sept. 9, despite international condemnations and sanctions imposed after the previous nuke detonation in January. The latest provocation came on the heels of the launch of three ballistic missiles four days earlier.

One of the two B-1B Lancers landed on Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, after flying over the skies of South Korea on Wednesday. The other returned to Andersen Air Base in Guam the same day.

“It was the first time a Lancer landed on the Korean Peninsula in 20 years (since 1996),” the USPACOM’s website showed.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.