The U.S. Air Force announced it has deployed three nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers and 200 air personnel to Guam — sending a strong signal to North Korea just a few days after its talks with South Korea.
The B-2s join a number of B-1 conventional bombers already deployed on the Pacific island.
It is unclear how long the B-2s will stay at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.
“The bomber deployment is part of an ongoing planned deployment that affects not only the Korean Peninsula, but also a broader alliance structure in the Pacific,” said Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. about the decision to deploy the bombers to Guam — the delay of joint training with the South Koreans.
“You’d be wrong if you viewed a bomber deployment in a single lens of what it means to the Korean Peninsula. It affects allies across the Pacific,” he added.
“So when we begin to talk de-confliction of activities more directly related to the peninsula, there’s where you could see why we would have chosen to de-conflict and adjust the timing of some of those activities because of the Olympics and the Paralympics,” McKenzie said.
The Air Force last sent a lone B-2 bomber to Guam in October, but only for a few hours as part of a long-range training mission from its home base in Missouri.
The last time the U.S. sent three of the stealth bombers to Guam was January 2017.