Staff at one of the three US military bases on Guam have told Sky News they are “ready to fight” should the order come from President Donald Trump.
Following the heightening of tensions between America and North Korea, we got a rare glimpse into life on the base and witnessed personnel going about their daily rituals – including seeing the might of a B1 bomber take off on a training exercise.
Donald Trump has threatened to unleash fire and fury on North Korea – and if he does, the bomber will be a key part of his strategy.
As it takes off in front of us, the noise is deafening and the tarmac beneath our feet shakes.
Its sole purpose is to drop bombs.
It would take this B1 bomber – travelling faster than the speed of sound – around two hours to make the 2,000-mile journey from Guam to North Korea. It has the ability to drop a payload of cruise missiles and dumb bombs on Pyongyang.
We weren’t allowed to talk to the pilots on camera for security reasons but one described the rush of flying fast and low. “It feels like you’re flying a fighter jet,” he said, “even though you’re hauling 400,000lbs in weight.”
“It’s a little bit of a rush,” he added. “It’s a lot of fun to fly.”
America will hope that everything about these planes intimidates North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
One of the bombers – called Whiskey Pete – was brought out and parked for us to inspect. It was named after a World War II bomber involved in raids on Japan after Pearl Harbor.
Officials at the sprawling Anderson Air Force Base wouldn’t say how many B1 bombers, with their distinct variable wings, are stationed here, but even on our short visit we counted six, backed up by KC 135 refuelling aircraft.
Hidden from sight, a number of mobile missile defence systems the size of a school bus are also positioned on the island, ready for launch in case Kim Jong Un decides to attack Guam – as he’s threatened to do.