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Two B-2 Spirit Bombers Deploy to England

Two B-2 Spirit bombers arrived at RAF Fairford on June 8, in one of the strongest efforts yet to reassure NATO allies. The deployment to the U.S. European Command’s (EUCOM’s) area of operations is one of many efforts to reassure allies who have become jittery over Russia’s aggressive actions in Eastern Europe.

B-2 Spirit Bomber

A B-2 Spirit from the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., lands on the runway at RAF Fairford, England, June 8, 2014. The B-2’s low-observability provides it greater freedom of action at high altitudes, thus increasing its range and a better field of view for the aircraft’s sensors. Its unrefueled range is more than 6,000 nautical miles. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chrissy Best

The “Spirit of Indiana” and “Spirit of Louisiana” landed at the usually quiet Royal Air Force (RAF) standby airbase after a flight from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The B-2s are part of the 509th Bomb Wing. In what will be a short-term deployment, the B-2s will conduct training flights designed to sharpen the skills of the aircrews. Flight crews will gain a familiarity with airbases and operations in EUCOM. The B-2s are part of U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM).

“The training and integration of strategic forces demonstrates to our nation’s leaders and our allies that we have the right mix of aircraft and expertise to respond to a variety of potential threats and situations.”

“This deployment of strategic bombers provides an invaluable opportunity to strengthen and improve interoperability with our allies and partners,” said Adm. Cecil Haney, commander, STRATCOM, in a U.S. Air Force release. “The training and integration of strategic forces demonstrates to our nation’s leaders and our allies that we have the right mix of aircraft and expertise to respond to a variety of potential threats and situations.”

Spirit of Indiana

The “Spirit of Indiana,” a B-2 Spirit from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., taxis down the runway at RAF Fairford, England, June 8, 2014. The B-2 Spirit is a multi-role bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. Its low-observable, or “stealth,” characteristics give it the unique ability to penetrate an enemy’s most sophisticated defenses and threaten the most valued, and heavily defended, targets. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nick Wilson

B-2s are frequently forward based as deterrence tools.

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Steven Hoarn is the Editor/Photo Editor for Defense Media Network. He is a graduate of...