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Japan, US do air drills amid tensions

Japan, US do air drills amid tensions

Three-hundred-fifty airmen from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota are among military personnel on Guam, the tiny Pacific island that's been the focus of recent global attention with escalating tensions between the USA and North Korea.

The sortie, made public a day later, was followed by the North Korean military's threat of ballistic missile attacks aimed at blockading the Pacific island. "The B-1s then performed a pass over the Pilsung Range before leaving South Korean airspace and returning to Guam", it added.

This serves as the first mission for the crews and aircraft recently deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, in support of U.S.

The U.S. planes, which were created to carry nuclear bombs and later switched to conventional payloads, followed up the drills with Japan with a separate exercise with South Korean Forces, the ASDF said.

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Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers fly from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, with an escort of a pair of Japan Self-Defense Forces F-2 fighter jets near Kyushu island on August 8.

A pilot on the mission said the more "we interface with our allies the better prepared we are to fight".

The U.S. dispatched two B-1Bs late last month in response to the North's test-firing of another intercontinental ballistic missile.

In this July 8, 2017, photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers, left and second from left, fly with South Korean and U.S. fighter jets over the Korean Peninsula, South Korea.