Air Force bombers are heading to England in June as part of an "assurance and deterrence mission," according to the head of Air Force Global Strike Command.

The bombers will spend a few weeks at Royal Air Force Fairford "just exercising and showing our presence," Gen. Robin Rand said at a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies breakfast on Wednesday.

The mission coincides with the annual Royal International Air Tattoo, which is the world's largest military air show.

"It's a good opportunity for us to do what we call a bomber assurance and deterrence mission," Rand said.

He declined to discuss the specifics, including what type of bombers will be there. He emphasized that this is a routine mission, and it doesn't mean there will be a continuous bomber presence in Europe.

RAF Fairford is a "known forward operating location" that has been used for U.S. combat operations in the past, Rand said, referring to when U.S. aircraft flew to Kosovo from Fairford.

"You need to exercise that capability or it'll atrophy," he said.


Charlsy Panzino covers the Guard and Reserve, training, technology, operations and features for Army Times and Air Force Times. Email her at cpanzino@militarytimes.com.