The U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bomber aircraft arrived at RAF Fairford, England, on Mar. 11 for a Bomber Task Force deployment to conduct theater integration and flying training.
The B-2 bombers belonged to the USAF’s 509th Bomb Wing and the 131st Bomb Wing based at Whiteman Air Base, Missouri. The aircraft initially arrived at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal, and conducted bombing training runs over Garvi Island, U.K. before arriving at RAF Fairford from Lajes Field.
The deployment of strategic bombers to the U.K. helps exercise RAF Fairford as U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s forward operating location for bombers.
“Operating bombers from forward locations enables collective defense capabilities and provides the U.S. and NATO the strategic and operational capacity needed to deter adversaries while assuring our allies and partners,” said Lt. Gen Steven Basham, Deputy Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa.
The deployment also includes joint and allied training in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) theater to improve bomber interoperability.
“Integrating with our NATO allies and theater partner nations, as well as other U.S. Air Force and joint units, enables us to build enduring and strategic relationships while greatly enhancing global stability and security”, said a statement from U.S.Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA).