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The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a USAF B-52H Stratofortress, assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron and part of the Bomber Task Force deployed to the region, conduct joint exercises in the US Central Command area of responsibility. Navy photo by MC3 Amber Smalley.

A B-52H deployed from Barksdale AFB, La., recently trained with the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group in the US Central Command area of responsibility, according to a Navy release.

The Stratofortress is one of four bombers that make up the Bomber Task Force, which deployed along with a Carrier Strike Group to the region early last month in response to an alleged threat from Iran.

The June 1 joint exercise focused on “air-to-air training, flying in formation, and simulated strike operations in defense of a national asset,” the release said.

As part of the training, the B-52H, assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, performed “a self-escort strike” with F/A-18E Super Hornets and E-2D Growlers from Carrier Air Wing 7, which is attached to the strike group, “a joint close air support exercise” with the wing’s Super Hornets, and “strike coordination and reconnaissance exercises” with its MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopters, according to the release.

“This operation allowed us to train interoperability, focus on defense and interdiction, and provide air support to our naval fleet defense,” Combined Forces Air Component Commander USAF Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella said in the release.