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Engines start on a B-52 Stratofortress at Barksdale AFB, La. Air Force photo by MSgt. Laura Siebert.

Four B-52 bombers flew simultaneous long-distance power-projection training flights over the Arctic and North Sea from Barksdale AFB, La., and Minot AFB, N.D., on April 2, Air Force Global Strike Command announced. "Exercises and operations such as these bomber flights enable and enhance relationships with our allies and partners, and allow others to understand what capabilities US Strategic Command brings to the equation," STRATCOM Commander Adm. Cecil Haney said in a release. NATO aircraft, including British Typhoons, Canadian F-18s, and Dutch F-16s, practiced dissimilar air-intercepts with the B-52s en-route. Unlike recent Russian bomber flights, each of the B-52s operated in "compliance with national and international protocols and due regard for the safety of all aircraft sharing the air space," Haney said. Exercise Polar Growl afforded crews polar-navigation training, and tested command and control of simultaneous deterrence sorties. B-52s also participated in several NATO exercises and deployments in and around Europe last year.