US bombers fly close to Taiwan on East China Sea mission

Two US B-1B long-range bomber aircraft passed close to Taiwan’s Aircraft Identification Zone to the northeast today, while a midair refueling aircraft flew by the south of the island, according to United Daily News.

The United Daily News report showed the flight path as reported on Twitter by @AircraftSpots showing that two B-1B bombers with the call signs LANDO 01 & 02 flew from Anderson Base Guam into the East China Sea via the Miyaki Strait today, May 4. USAF KC-135R LIVID11 provided tanker support, @AircraftSpots also noted.

The United Daily News report also showed a picture of a KC-135R Stratotanker flying from Okinawa, Japan to the south of Taiwan and into the South China Sea via the Bashi Channel, claiming that @AircraftSpots had posted the information this morning.

Picture accompanying United Daily News report claiming a KC-135R Stratotanker passed south of Taiwan into the South China Sea to support 2 B-1B bombers on a mission in the East China Sea.

However, research by Taiwan English News found that the source of the information about the flight path of the Stratotanker came from a member of a team belonging to intelligence consultancy company ShadowBreak Intl.

The same team was featured recently in a Forbes article after they demonstrated that they were able to pinpoint the location of China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning and track its movements via commercial satellite imagery, some of which is freely available on the Internet.

The long-range strategic bomber missions come at a time of heightened military activity in the region with a focus on the South China Sea and targeting China’s extraterritorial claims in the area.

In a statement yesterday, Sunday, May 3, The US Air Force said that four B-1B Lancer bombers had been deployed to the Anderson Air Force Base, Guam.

“Four bombers and approximately 200 Airmen from the 9th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, deployed to support Pacific Air Forces’ training efforts with allies, partners and joint forces; and strategic deterrence missions to reinforce the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific region.” the statement said.

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