U.S. and French aviators remember WWI

BARKSDALE AFB, LA. -- A 96th Bomb Squadron B-52 from Barksdale Air Force Base joined French fighters over Nancy-Ochey Air Base, France, June 12, 2018 to commemorate the entrance of U.S. aviators into WWI 100 years ago.

The combined formation flew over Étain, France, where the first U.S. combat aerial bombing took place during WWI on June 12, 1918. This first U.S. sortie was launched from Amanty Aerodrome, France.

In 1918, the 96th Bomb Squadron was known as the 96th Aero Squadron. Today, the 96th Airmen maintain the heritage of the “first to bomb,” a slogan emblazoned on their unit’s 100-year anniversary patch.

The commemoration flight also served as an international training opportunity with the Armee de l’Air and demonstrated the close resolve and cooperation of the U.S. and its steadfast ally France.

U.S. aircraft routinely fly exercise and training missions in and around Europe to enable the U.S. and its allies to practice joint interoperability and enhance warfighting readiness.

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