Australia, US Gathers Bombers To Warn Beijing
The U.S. and Australia are ramping up joint efforts to improve tactical operations in light of the looming Chinese threat.
U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bombers are lined up at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Amberley airbase in Queensland. In July, the U.S. fleet of B-2 Spirits arrived in Queensland to join Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) Bomber Task Force exercises.
Due to China’s alarming rhetoric and behavior in the Indo-Pacific, the ongoing joint U.S.-Australian efforts are becoming increasingly important for deterrence. The U.S. Air Force and RAAF are carrying out fighter jet drills, in addition to experimenting with refueling B-2s from RAAF KC-30 tankers.
According to Air Force Magazine, the 383rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron commander said “This deployment of the B-2 to Australia demonstrates and enhances the readiness and lethality of our long-range penetrating strike force. We look forward to training and enhancing our interoperability with our RAAF teammates, as well as partners and allies across the Indo-Pacific as we meet PACAF objectives.”
During his visit to Australia last month, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said that China’s malign behavior is steadily increasing in the region. The Gen. specifically alluded to the number of intercepts by People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft and ships throughout the Pacific has grown over time, adding, “The message is the Chinese military, in the air and at sea, have become significantly more and noticeably more aggressive in this particular region.”
China Claims Invasion of Taiwan Is Imminent
The PRC has made it clear that a military operation to invade and take control of Taiwan is imminent.
While the U.S.-Australian exercise at the Amberely Air Force base is expected to wind down over the next few weeks, the presence of U.S. B-2 Spirit bombers in the Indo-Pacific will likely remain or even increase in the near future as Beijing builds up its aggressive behavior in the region. Considering B-2s represent one of the three pillars in America’s nuclear triad, the presence of these airframes in Queensland sends a powerful message to the PRC.