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B-2 stealth bombers deploy to Europe for joint training

Airman 1st Class Austin Sawchuk, a crew chief assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing, marshals in a B-2 Spirit on the flight line at Royal Air Base Fairford, England, on August 27, 2019. A Bomber Task Force deployment of the stealth bomber aircraft, Airmen and support equipment from the 509th BW at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, arrived in the U.S. European Command area of operations for a deployment to conduct theater integration and flying training. The deployment of strategic bombers to the United Kingdom helps exercise RAF Fairford as a forward operating base for the unit, ensuring they are engaged, postured and ready with credible force to assure, deter and defend the U.S. and its allies in an increasingly complex security environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kayla White)
September 02, 2019

A U.S. Bomber Task Force has been deployed to England for a joint training session with ally nations, showcasing the U.S.’ B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.

The Air Force announced in a press release Tuesday that B-2 Spirit stealth bomber aircraft and Airmen from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri arrived at RAF Fairford, England, to “conduct theater integration and flying training.”

“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,” the press release stated.

“The deployment also includes joint and allied training in Europe to improve bomber interoperability,” according to the release. “Training with partners, allied nations and other U.S. Air Force units contributes to our readiness and enables us to build enduring and strategic relationships necessary to confront a broad range of global challenges.”

Aircraft spotters posted on Twitter that there could be up to three B-2 aircraft — the Death 11, Death 12 and Death 13 — in the facility.

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“Early morning update appears to have all 3xB2 stealth bombers on the ground at RAF,” Twitter user @BunkerAlpha posted on Tuesday, coupling the tweet with a picture of a B-2 bomber.

Another Twitter user captured video footage of the B-2 bombers landing in England, posting on Tuesday that the three B-2s landed “after dark.”

According to Military.com, United States European Command (EUCOM) did not state if the B-2s in the region were there to support a specific exercise, noting that the summer season sees several of them sometimes occurring at the same time.

The first B-2 Spirit stealth bomber took flight more than 30 years ago on July 17, 1989, and is still considered the world’s premiere stealth bomber.

It is undetectable and unable to be tracked by even the most sophisticated adversaries. The plane uses a crew of two pilots to operate it and can be armed with conventional or nuclear weapons.

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There are only two U.S. Air Force units that operate the aircraft.