B-52s Ignore China No-Fly Zone

B-52 successfully tests alternative jet engine fuelTwo B-52 bombers flew unarmed and unescorted through a no-fly zone declared by China over disputed islands in the East China Sea Monday in a direct challenge by the U.S. to Beijing’s attempts to intimidate its neighbors, defense officials said Tuesday.

The overflight came less than 48 hours after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the U.S. would not recognize China’s “Air Defense Identification Zone” over the uninhabited Senkaku Islands, claimed by Japan, China and Taiwan.

A Pentagon spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that U.S. aircraft flying out of Guam had carried out the overflight on a previously scheduled training mission and returned to Andersen Air Base on Guam “without incident.”

The spokesman would not identify the type of aircraft but other officials said they were B-52H Stratofortresses. In August, B-52s from the 20th Bomber Squadron at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., deployed to Guam as part of the U.S. effort to re-balance forces to the Pacific.

An Air Force press release in August quoted Lt. Col. Scott Maytan, commander of the 20th Bomber Squadron, as stating that “What we do day to day with this presence mission is show our ability to fly our airplanes around the Pacific theater and support whatever contingencies we might be asked to do.”

Maytan added that “The continuous bomber presence maintains long-range strike capability in theater, so our national decision makers have assets that they can use should they ever need to.”

On Friday, China declared the imposition of the Identification Zone over the Senkakus, called Diaoyu by the Chinese, and warned that all aircraft approaching the area must first file a flight plan, radio frequencies and transponder information or risk “emergency military measures.”

The Pentagon spokesman said that the U.S. aircraft did not notify the Chinese on the Senkakus overflight, nor were the U.S. aircraft contacted by the Chinese.

Over weekend, Hagel said in a statement that the Senkakus announcement by China “will not in any way change how the United States conducts military operations in the region. “

Hagel said “We view this development as a destabilizing attempt to alter the status quo in the region. This unilateral action increases the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculations.”

In California, where President Obama was traveling Tuesday, White House officials called for a peaceful settlement of the disputes over the Senkakus and other islands in the region.

“We believe that inflammatory rhetoric and inflammatory policy pronouncements like those made by the Chinese over the weekend are counterproductive, and we believe that those differences of opinion can and should be resolved diplomatically,” said Prinicipal Deputy White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

31 Comments on "B-52s Ignore China No-Fly Zone"

  1. Maybe they were escorted by F-22s that is why the chinese air force didnt even bother to have radio contact with them

  2. Every time an American buys something at Walmart they are funding Chinese expansion. Something to think about…..

  3. I wonder if the Chinese shot down the B52, do we ask "Please return our plane"?

  4. B-52s enforce Yes-Fly Zone

  5. China might want to consider sending a pair of 1960-era J-6's and down the B-52s next time they fly in the zone. In fact, it would be a great opportunity to test its drones and missiles on the B-52s.

  6. Hey commies wanna engage ? 0ur raptors are just around to make u pee on ur diapers

  7. you bet your a.. that there was a couple of AWACS monitoring Chinese "activity" and that we had a few F-22s nearby, outside of the zone, ready to "assist" the B-52's if any Chinese fighters were scrambled.

    And again your can bet your a.. that we had a couple of "platforms" near the Chinese coast gathering signal intelligence

    and it wouldn't have surprised me at all if those two B-52's were flying the furtherest edge of the "zone" while under an Aegis umbrella

    all of these "factors" combined is what the Chinese did nothing

  8. CaptainObvious | November 26, 2013 at 8:00 pm |


  9. politics aside…. isn't it cool that these planes are still working…? no just mechanically but, well…. you know.

  10. Sooo… under who's orders?

    Do it again, but with B2s like whoever ordered them for Korea.

  11. Cool. Glad someone had at least the smallest bit of balls.

  12. It is not a No-Fly Zone, but rather an Air Defense Identification Zone. Anyone's military can fly through them; just like how Tu-95 goes into/through Canada's and American's ADIZ.

  13. I’m not quite sure why the US has to involve itself in such an obvious manner in Asian disputes. They have enough problems and exponential expenses at home and abroad else where to deal with. I’m not suggesting they clean out ignore what’s happening but equally the increasingly active roll the US is taking in the pacific is just as alarming to me and surely exasperates the territorial disputes China has with its neighbours.

  14. Navy Seal 9009 | November 27, 2013 at 7:19 am |

    I would say the islands are closest to Taiwan, the largest island is 2 miles long and 3/4 of a mile wide the 2 smaller islands are 3/4 mile long by 1/4 mile wide. No one lives on them, so whats the big deal CHINA. At the closest point those islands are 225 miles from the closest little island off the coast of China and about 75 miles off the coast of Taiwan. If they belong to anyone the should belong to Taiwan. There problem fixed!!!!!!!!!!!! Fly til your little hearts content B-52s and escorts. China's fighters with their fuel guzzling copy cat engines would run out of fuel by the time they made it out there anyway unless they carried all fuel tanks just to get a shot with their guns. LOL

  15. Its not a no fly zone its an air defense warning zone which could happily co-exist with the Japanese one.

    The Chinese play the long game – they know that in the end the US will back down. Maybe it will take a few unfortunate accidents with Chinese drones running into non-complying US aircraft to get the point across.

    One only needs to look what happened to our electronic monitoring int he 250 mile limit – plane intercepted, crew locked up, lesson learned, we don't do it any more.

  16. I hear the Chinese were really intrigued by the B-52s. It's like seeing a piece of history flying. Hell, it's like flying B-17s over Iraq. No one is really scared so much as intrigued by such old aircraft. When you think about it, it really is amazing that we could keep these birds flying 50+ years after they were originally designed. No one in the 1950s would have guessed they'd be flying this long. Had they known, they would certainly be ashamed by what their once great country had become.

  17. Chinese Internet Misinformation Force up in this…

  18. Is there any particular reason why the B-52 was selected for the job? Long enough legs to be staged from US soil rather than an allies? Better countermeasures? Big enough to survive a mid-air collision with a fighter?

    It seems they could have routed a C-130 with typhoon relief supplies through the area instead, just to give the Chinese a good chance to embarrass themselves.

  19. I doubt China would do anything they want American business to push there economy a act of war would have ended that. Those Islands are far from Chinas shore I doubt they ha enough time to get fighter to that area before the B-52s left for home anyway. Just more saber rattling.

  20. I agree with this policy of not giving in to the bullying tactics of Beijing. But why lie when you say "previously scheduled" maneuvers. We all know it was not previously scheduled, so does China. It is transparent and silly which makes us seem like children.

  21. This is potentially another fine bucket of suds Obama could get us into. He reminds me of myself at 13; I tried to hang with girls 16. Little did I know they were laughing their a—- of.

  22. last word is "off" (Sorry)

  23. Editorials across Asia point out the hypocrisy of the US position – ignoring Japanese and Taiwanese identification zones while protesting on a Chinese one.

    Its pretty clear the Chinese have got what they wanted – a demonstration that any relationship with the US will always be unequal and ultimately exploitative.

  24. CaptainObvious | November 28, 2013 at 12:36 pm |

    We flew into their ADIZ, maybe had a few sensors turned on. Gathered some SIGINT and that's it. Russia and the US do this all the time – some of you, and the media are trying to paint a more disturbing picture.

    Shit, the US does this to China all the time.

  25. Anothr case in point of sticking our nose in where it don't belong. Will we ever wise
    up. Common sense will tell you that it costs China nothing to say they are going to
    impose a no fly zone. While on the other hand it costs the U.S. thousands and thousands of dollare to fly missions. I think we should turn the entire DOD over to the boy scouts – at least they have adult leadership.

  26. The US is telling carriers today that they must obey the new Chinese rules.

    The Chinese play the long game – they know that after all the bluster has subsided like the old adage says – the US doesn't mean what it says.

  27. Remember when we had total air dominance ? – now the air-force talks about trying to create small temporary bubbles of survivability.

    Lockheed Martin: We never forget who we're working for – China.

  28. The Japanese gave up those island colonies after World War II, at Potsdam. Details can be found at the G2mil blog. But the Pentagon needs a new threat to prevent budget cuts.

  29. I believe the Air Force is using B-52s because they are more likely to withstand a mid-air collision that the Chinese would provoke.

  30. people go on about the B-52 being old etc.. but you can bet there is a couple out there packed full of Sigint, a big wolf (with big ears) in sheeps clothing.
    I admire the Americans for doing this, the Chinese need to be shown you can't just bully your neigbours..
    I say if we need each other for trade, Obama should turn of the trade tap for one week,, show them what a bully acn really do…..

  31. A B 52 is the Hammer , if it makes it over your airspace and its working its a bad day for U. age doesn't matter, there just a prong in the picture.

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