In sign of support, US bombers fly over Dubrovnik, Balkans

Aug 22, 2022, 9:12 AM | Updated: 9:20 am

DUBROVNIK, Croatia (AP) — A pair of U.S. Air Force B52 strategic bombers on Monday flew low over the Croatian resort of Dubrovnik and three other NATO-member states in the region as a sign of support amid the Russian aggression in Ukraine.

In addition to the walled Croatian tourist resort of Dubrovnik, the aircraft flew over the government headquarters in Skopje, North Macedonia, the downtown Skanderbeg Square in the Albanian capital, Tirana, and up the Adriatic coast of Montenegro.

The Balkans and the Adriatic Sea have lately seen increased military, intelligence and propaganda activity by Moscow, which considers the region of its strategic interest because of its access to the Mediterranean.

“The purpose of each flyover is to demonstrate U.S. commitment and assurance to NATO allies and partners located in southeastern Europe,” the U.S. Air Force said in a statement. “Additionally, this will provide citizens an opportunity to take photos, videos, and enjoy the aircraft flying overhead.”

Crowds gathered on the squares in Skopje and Tirana, and tourists watched in Dubrovnik and Montenegro as the giant bombers thundered overhead. Some onlookers waved American flags.

North Macedonia was the last nation to join NATO in 2020 and Montenegro did it in 2017, both despite strong opposition from Russia.

North Macedonia’s Army Chief of Stuff, Lt. Colonel Jovan Azmanovski, told TV broadcaster Kanal 5 that the bombers’ flights were symbolic proof that “our skies are safe.”

“People in North Macedonia were able to see a flights of USAF B52 two strategic bombers over Skopje, which demonstrate our NATO membership and the safety and security of our and skies of entire alliance. Our skies are safe and our (NATO) membership is more than visible,” Azmanovski said.

In Tirana, Albanian Army Chief of Staff Arben Kingji said “we are witnessing a strategic military demonstration.”

“Our strategic partners are hand to hand with us, it’s a message of unity,” he said at the square where people gathered.

The two B-52 Stratofortress aircraft are assigned to the 23rd Bomb Squadron currently operating out of RAF Fairford, United Kingdom.

Since 2018, the U.S. has conducted more than 200 Bomber Task Force sorties with allies and partners.

Most recently, this involved B-1B Lancer flights over the Nordic, Baltic, and Black Sea regions in May, as well as an air policing overflight of North Macedonia in June. In June, Stratofortresses conducted flights over the Arctic Ocean, and later took part in BALTOPS, the largest annual exercise in the Baltic Sea.

In the Baltic Sea, the amphibious warship USS Kearsarge — the largest warship ever to visit Lithuania — was officially welcomed Monday. The country borders fellow NATO member Poland and Belarus, a Moscow ally.

On Monday, the NATO air police mission in Lithuania reported that jets were scrambled four times last week to identify and escort Russian war planes, which violated rules of international airspace.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after ...

Associated Press

Abortion ruling supercharges Arizona to be an especially important swing state

A ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged Arizona's role, turning it into the most critical battleground.

47 minutes ago

Former President Donald Trump, center, appears in court for his arraignment, Tuesday, April 4, 2023...

Associated Press

Manhattan court searching for jurors to hear first-ever criminal case against a former president

Jury selection is set to start Monday in former President Donald Trump's hush money case — the first trial of the presumptive nominee.

2 hours ago

Emergency personnel arrive on the scene after a  an 18-wheeler crashed into the Texas Department of...

Associated Press

1 dead and 13 injured in semitrailer crash at a Texas public safety office, with the driver jailed

A driver rammed an 18-wheeler though the front of a building where his renewal for a commercial driver’s license had been rejected.

3 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a Get Out The Vote rally ...

Associated Press

Trump pushes Arizona lawmakers to ‘remedy’ state abortion ruling that he says ‘went too far’

Donald Trump urged Arizona lawmakers on Friday to swiftly “remedy” the state court ruling allowing prosecutors to enforce an abortion ban.

5 hours ago

Biden to require more gun dealers to run background checks....

Associated Press

Biden administration will require thousands more gun dealers to run background checks on buyers

New Biden rule to require thousands more firearms dealers across the United States will have to run background checks on buyers.

1 day ago

Instagram blurring out nudity with new app tools....

Associated Press

Instagram blurring nudity in messages to protect teens from sexual extortion

Instagram says it’s deploying new tools to protect young people and combat sexual extortion by blurring nudity.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

In sign of support, US bombers fly over Dubrovnik, Balkans