The US Air Force recently deployed six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to Europe for “theatre integration and flying training” exercises with regional allies and NATO partners — a move viewed as sending a strong message to Russia
In response to B-52 Deployment, the Russian army began moving components of its S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems from Gvardeysk to Baltiysk, westernmost town in Russia.
In a series of posts on Twitter on 22 March, military blogger Petri Mäkelä reported that Russian Defense Forces has deployed S-300 systems at the westernmost point of the enclave of Kaliningrad, near the border with Poland.
— Petri Mäkelä (@pmakela1) March 22, 2019
“Russia has deployed and dispersed S-300 SAM units from Gvardeysk to Baltiysk, presumably to cover better the Baltic Fleet assets,” said Petri Mäkelä
Deployment of S-300 air defense systems come against the backdrop of rising tensions with the United States.
The US Air Force activated its B-52H bombers training flights and has repeatedly approached the Russian border in the Baltic region.
NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said: “This is a routine deployment, but it shows that the US nuclear umbrella protects Europe and demonstrates the unique capabilities the US could bring to Europe in a crisis. The B-52 deployment is yet another sign that the United States is strongly committed to NATO”.