The U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bomber aircraft arrived at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal, on Mar. 9 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. KC-10 Extender aerial refueling aircraft from 305th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst provided aerial refueling capability in support of the transit across the Atlantic Ocean.
The bombers will operate out of various military installations in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM)’s area of responsibility.
“Strategic bomber deployments to Europe provide theater familiarization for aircrew members and demonstrate U.S. commitment to allies and partners. Integrating with our NATO Allies and theater partner nations, as well as other U.S. Air Force and joint units, contributes to our ready and postured forces and enables us to build enduring and strategic relationships necessary to confront a broad range of global challenges”, said a EUCOM statement.
The U.S. Air Force’s 65th Air Base Group is stationed at Lajes Field in the Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal in the North Atlantic Ocean, about 1,360 km west of continental Portugal. The group provides base and en route support for the U.S. Department of Defense, allied nations and other authorized aircraft in transit.