US B-52 bombers arrive in UK's RAF Fairford amid fears of Russian invasion of Ukraine

American B-52 bombers seen arriving at the RAF base in Fairford, Gloucestershire

A deployment of American Airforce B-52 bombers have arrived in the UK as fears continue to escalate over a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Officially, the presence of the iconic aircraft is part of a “long-planned” training mission. But basing themselves at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire is a visual reminder to enemies of NATO that the US Air Force has awesome firepower in its armoury and in Europe.

If, as many expect, eight aircraft are deployed, it will be considerably more than the base has hosted in recent years.

A United States Air Force (USAF) B-52 bomber landing at RAF Fairford. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

The B-52s are part of the Bomber Task Force and will team up with numerous NATO allies as they carry out training missions.

The US Air Force (USAF) say that deploying the bombers to Gloucestershire “helps exercise RAF Fairford as United States Air Forces in Europe’s forward operating location for bombers”.

A B-52 bomber lands at RAF Fairford, as tensions remain high over the build-up of Russian forces near the border with Ukraine. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

The commander of the US Air Force in Europe, General Jeff Harrigian, said on Thursday: “With an ever-changing global security environment, it’s critical that our efforts with our allies and partners are unified.

"We’re in Europe training and collaborating together, because consistent integration is how we strengthen our collective airpower.”