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Bombers rotate at Andersen

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AFPN) -- Airmen from the 2nd Bomb Wing's 20th Bomb Squadron at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., arrive here May 26 to begin a four-month deployment.

The Louisiana-based aircraft, aircrew, support and maintenance members will replace their fellow Barksdale Airmen from the 96th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, who will redeploy home as part of a scheduled rotation of bomber units.

The continuous bomber presence at Andersen AFB is aimed at enhancing regional security, demonstrating U.S. commitment to the Pacific region, and providing integrated training opportunities for deployed Airmen, according to officials at the 36th Operations Group here.

Movement of Air Force bombers into the Western Pacific has been ongoing since March 2004 as the Pacific Command adjusts its force posture to maintain a prudent deterrent capability. The unit deployment demonstrates U.S. commitment to the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

Besides bolstering security, the rotational deployment increases training opportunities that thoroughly integrate B-52 Stratofortress bomber operations into PACOM's joint and coalition exercises from forward bases such as Andersen, officials added.

Six bombers and approximately 300 Airmen will be deployed here through September. This will be the seventh rotation of bombers to Andersen AFB.