US Marines Fly 2000 Miles From the Atlantic to Drop Bombs in Russia’s Backyard

Three U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers conducted a long-range bombing run on a range in Lithuania Thursday.

Attached to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, the vertical-takeoff multirole combat aircraft took off from the assault ship USS Iwo Jima in the Atlantic and flew 2,000 nautical miles straight (with aerial refueling) to the target in the Baltic Sea nation, a member of NATO since 2004. It borders both Belarus and Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave, so the Pentagon may be familiarizing itself with the local terrain in the course of dropping inert Mark 82 bombs there.

Since the year it joined NATO Lithuania has hosted NATO fighter jets at the air base in Šiauliai (as has Estonia at Ämari since 2014) under the quaint name of air policing. The main purpose of the regular rotation of NATO member states’ warplanes is to engage with Russian aircraft entering and exiting Kaliningrad. But practice bombing runs like today’s open up other possibilities in relation to both Kaliningrad and nearby Belarus.

Lithuania also hosts one of four NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroups, the others being in neighboring states Estonia, Latvia and Poland. The battegroups are led by major NATO powers (Britain, Canada, Germany and the U.S.). That in Lithuania is led by Germany, which cannot be comforting to Kaliningrad (a former German territory) and Belarus, which lost as much as a third of its entire population in a German invasion eighty years ago.

 

The nation also is home to American troops and armored vehicles as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, which like the air patrols based in Estonia and the NATO battlegroups have been justified as a reaction to Russia’s response to the coup and armed conflict in Ukraine in 2014.

After the presidential election and resultant anti-government agitation in Belarus starting in August of last year, President Alexander Lukaskenko and the country’s Defense Ministry both warned of a NATO military build-up in neighboring Lithuania and Poland poised for intervention in their nation.

In recent days Ukrainian officials, including the president, have been exploiting the canard of an invasion of their country through Belarus.

In regard to today’s Marine mock bombing run in coordination with Lithuanian ground controllers, the commander of the Marine Expeditionary Unit in charge of the long-range mission said, “Conducting a joint long-range mission supported by Allies and partners demonstrates the strength and versatility of the NATO Alliance.”

Tomorrow’s bombs may not be dummies. And tomorrow’s target may not be a bombing range in Lithuania.

Source: Antiwar.com

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ken
ken
6 months ago

“. The battegroups are led by major NATO powers (Britain, Canada, Germany and the U.S.).”

Britain and Germany are has beens and Canada never was. The US woke military of women and mentals will be unable to maintain an attack for long.

Maybe the Russian response would be considerate and only take out the beltway in Washington.

30 minutes after Nato attacks,,, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, half of Poland would be smoldering ruins. And the Iwo Jima would lucky to exist.

This isn’t WWII where you launch bombers from a carrier to bomb Tokyo. Today they would be targeted at launch.

Biden Loves War.jpg
Pablo
Pablo
6 months ago
Reply to  ken

In the 1950’s–no that is not a typo–the US Chief of Naval Operations was asked how long would the US Navy’s Carrier Group last in a War. The CNO’s answer was, “One week. Two if they stay in port.” Aircraft Carriers have always been a big, fat, juicy target; they can be taken out at any time. The US War Machine is counting on the belief that their Carriers will not be attacked EXCEPT when or if a war breaks out. In other words the US War Machine’s Carrier Group is protected by the US Nuclear umbrella NOT by any defensive measures Carriers may have.

Last edited 6 months ago by Pablo
Steve Ginn
Steve Ginn
6 months ago

More bullshit and bravado from the full of crap Yanks!

Dale
Dale
6 months ago

Can’t imagine how easily the Russkies might have blown those lumbering Harriers out of the sky.

Mark
6 months ago

See? We could do it. So watch out, Russia. With an airspeed of 550 knots and a range of 900 NM, a Harrier would only have to refuel once on the way and then again just before the attack, else it might run out of gas over the target. Then it has to get back, unless we are talking about a kamikaze mission.

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/av-8-specs.htm

I think we all know this is not really about the USA attacking Russia with the Harrier, which is too light to be a seriously effective bomber, too slow to evade anything but thrown rocks and only single-engine. The USA could send much more capable and purpose-built bombers. And I think we all know that is very unlikely, because Russia has the most capable air-defense system in the world, and Americans have been shaped to believe any war in which America engages is one in which American casualties will be light, not horrific. Americans are also accustomed to wars in which all the fighting takes place Over There, because They don’t have anything that could reach the precious homeland.

Russia is doubtless well aware of this, too, but the rules of the game say that it has to pretend to be concerned, like this is a big deal. What it really is is throwing a bone to the yappy Balts, who love to think they are on the front lines of Something Big, and that their alliance with NATO frightens Russia and consequently they are important.

moses
moses
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark

but the rules of the game say that it has to pretend to be concerned, like this is a big deal. What it really is is throwing a bone to the yappy Balts, who love to think they are on the front lines of Something Big, and that their alliance with NATO frightens Russia and consequently they are important. you killed it right there…

Ronnie
Ronnie
6 months ago

It’s only money….they print the monopoly notes by the trillions. The B1 bombers are busted arsed from to many dollar missions over “Victory accomplished” in Afghanistan.
It’s Rome all over again.
It’s in free fall, right up until the dammed Russians are putting a flag over the Emperors nursing home.
Tampons in men’s toilets because real men have periods. Join the Army. Make up and heels….. the CIA wants you.
Read the Harbinger. Everything explained. Very scary and sad.

PS A blog described the German Army in Afghanistan “as to drunk and to fat to fight…. The 1st Russian Tank Army is gonna need moar pop corn for the Lithuanian gig.

Anti-Empire