US to Deploy Nuclear-Capable B-52 Bombers to Australia Amid Increasing Beijing Tensions: Report

Daniel Y. Teng
By Daniel Y. Teng
November 2, 2022US News

The U.S. Air Force is preparing to deploy six B-52 bombers to northern Australia amid a steady build-up of U.S. military strength in the region in response to Beijing’s ongoing aggression, according to a news report.

Work is underway on dedicated facilities at Royal Australian Air Force Base Tindal, which is located 3 1/2 hours south of Australia’s northernmost city of Darwin.

U.S. officials have drawn up plans for a “squadron operations facility” and a maintenance centre and parking space for six B-52 bombers, Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) reported. The cost is expected to reach US$100 million.

The B-52 Stratofortress has been a formidable part of the U.S. military since the 1950s. The aircraft is able to fly extremely long distances without refuelling (8,800 miles or 14,080 kilometres) while carrying a massive payload (70,000 pounds or 31,500 kilograms), including nuclear weapons.

Ongoing aggression in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait have spurred Australian and U.S. military planners to build up the Darwin region (the Top End) including regular marine exercises and upgrades to existing military facilities. The United States and Australia jointly operate a satellite surveillance base located in central Australia called Pine Gap.

Australian defence officials have also been tasked with acquiring new military hardware while even contemplating buying a yet-to-be-released B-21 Raider, according to reports.

A Part of the Plan: Expert

In response, U.S. Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy said the region faces “increasing tensions.”

“I know that since I served in Japan, but America has for the past 75 years worked really hard to support the rules-based order,” she told ABC on Oct. 31.

Meanwhile, Michael Shoebridge, director of Strategic Analysis Australia, said reports of the buildup aren’t new, noting preparations have been ongoing since 2012 during the Obama–Gillard era.

“This is implementing that big idea from 2012, but the big new development, of course, is the much greater need to deter Beijing from conflict,” Shoebridge told The Epoch Times.

He said media reports and commentators may portray the move as an incitement of conflict with Beijing, but noted that Australia is only part of a wider “dispersing” of U.S. capability throughout the region against the Chinese Communist Party, notably Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Guam.

“[It is] complicating Beijing’s war planning. So it’s a strategic move and it’s not a really aggressive initiative that some [media] reports convey—it’s smarter, rather than aggressive.”

From The Epoch Times

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.