The B-1B strategic bombers started drills with allied counterparts on Tuesday and were home by Wednesday. The jet are sometimes referred to colloquially as “Bones” since a newspaper once identified one as a “B-ONE” without the hyphen and the name stuck.
The Lancers were joined by South Korea KF-16 multi-role fighter and Japanese Mitsubishi F-2 multi-role jets. The crews can fly between Guam and the peninsula in 120 minutes, the Straits Times reported.
The fourth C-130J Super Hercules arrived at Yokota Air Base, Japan, on Thursday, the US Air Force announced. Each Super Hercules carries up to 40,000 pounds of cargo and is “often the first aircraft to touch down, usually on austere landing strips before any other transport to provide humanitarian after natural disasters,” according to the US Air Force.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump retweeted a tweet by US Pacific Command stating that the bombers there were ready for action.
— U.S. Pacific Command (@PacificCommand) August 11, 2017
Earlier, he stressed the point.
“Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely,” the president said on Twitter, adding “hopefully Kim Jong-un will find another path!”
North Korean state media has reported that the country is considering plans to strike Guam this month.
“The risks are very high, especially regarding the rhetoric” between Washington and Pyongyang, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday.
“We hear direct threats to use force. At the same time, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis stated once again: Yes, this will involve a huge number of casualties, and yet talks about a pre-emptive strike on North Korea, talks in Pyongyang, that it is necessary to strike the island of Guam, where several US military bases are located, do not stop,” Lavrov said at a youth forum in Russia’s Vladimir region.