Two B-2 Spirit stealth bombers have just arrived in UK for a quite unusual overseas deployment

Jun 08 2014 - 42 Comments

Using radio callsigns “Death 11” and “Death 12” two B-2s from Whiteman Air Force Base have arrived at RAF Fairford for short and rare deployment.

Even if the U.S. Air Force has selected three bases for B-2 operations outside the U.S. (RAF Fairford, in UK, Diego Garcia and Andersen AFB at Guam), overseas deployments of the Spirit stealth strategic bombers are quite unusual.

Indeed, B-2s don’t move from Whiteman AFB, in Missouri, too often as they are trained to conduct very long round-trip missions from their homebase in CONUS (Continental U.S.), as happened during recent training missions, extended nuclear deterrence sorties in the Korean Peninsula, as well as during real conflicts, as the Libya Air War in 2011 or the Allied Force in Serbia in 1999.

That’s why the deployment of two Spirit bombers with the 509th Bomb Wing to the UK is, at least, noteworthy.

Obviously, the official press release doesn’t mention the rarity of this “short-term deployment,” as it only mentions that the “multi-role heavy bombers will conduct training flights in the USEUCOM area of operations, providing opportunities for aircrews to sharpen skills in several key operational sets and become familiar with airbases and operations in the region.”

Little is known about this deployment, unlike the other one which involves three B-52s that have arrived at RAF Fairford last week and whose detachment had been exposed by aircrew patches produced ahead of the participation of the Stratofortresses to the Saber Strike and Baltops exercises.

“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,” said Adm. Cecil Haney, commander, U.S. Strategic Command in the release.

For sure, the Russian threat in Europe is taken seriously by the USSTRACOM, that may have decided to deploy some strategic assets closer to Ukraine, more to show the local allies that Washington is capable to support them if needed rather than put some pressure on Moscow.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force


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  • Paul Robinson

    This just after the B-52s must have the local spotters in a frenzy was going to use another word, but think references to sexual excitement not polite here; Series of photos on . Often find The Aviationist has the great photos before i receive the e mails from similar source often. Thanks for the great photos & blog guys.

    • jetaddicted

      i still vividly remember the day i personally got to see (and touch, i’ll dare to even say: caress) a b-52; the minute before, i was walking in a foreigner’s market in Seoul (itaewon, for those who know), and i had decided to simply walk past yongsan army base, until i noticed, peaking behind a building, an unusual aircraft tail, both by it’s shape and it’s location, the closest runway being miles away.
      one big, ugly,fat fellow was standing there, surrounded by other flying wonders, in a museum.
      try to imagine finding yourself in front of a b52 right behind the corner :)

  • LaMarca

    Persuasion, The Essence of Diplomacy… at its very best!

  • LigerFangz

    Should have sent B-1B Lancers. Faster more easily maintained, and it can carry far more payload.

    • Tom Jones

      I think the reason is to scare/dicourage the Russians into backing off from invading the EU by placing small but effective Strategic Bombers and Stealth Aircraft closer to their borders to punch a hole in their Radar Defences possibly for a larger Airborne Bomber force with Paras in tow. Russian wont make a big deal publicly but they will be discussing 2 Stealth Bombers capable of dropping Nuclear Bombs.

      • AlexisWolf

        Russia invading the EU? where does that come from? Ukraine & Crimea are not in the EU (and not in NATO either)

      • kusanagi no tsurugi

        Russia invading European Union….One of the biggest I have ever read….

      • Eileen Kuch

        All Russia need do is simply send S-400 hypersonic cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads to these air bases; and NATO and the EU would be toast, along with the US Stealth bombers parked there. As we can see, the Yanks are talking crazy again.

        • dinosaurJR

          … the S-400 is a SAM system…

    • AlexisWolf

      When it comes to these weapons, payload is hardly significant as if one nuke went off it would trigger a massive deployment from both sides…..also called M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction).

    • Ozmodiar Flanker

      the B-1 is no longer capable of delivering nuclear weapons so it wouldn’t send the same ‘message’

  • Sideshow


    Shits moving forward…just not down right path.

    Were either gonna first strike without warning or after a false flag to lay blame and wag a bag guy with the propaganda MSM.

  • evoval

    Death 11 and Death 12. We are literally sick in the head!

    • Callsign Vega

      What do you think the purpose is of such an aircraft? To drop flowers and lollipops to children?

      • Eileen Kuch

        Certainly not aircraft with monikers of “Death 11” and “Death 12”. Their sole purpose is for mass slaughter that would make Dresden seem like child’s play in comparison.

        The firebombing of Dresden February 13-14, 1945 slaughtered anywhere between 250,000-500,000 defenseless civilians, many of them refugees from Silesia and East Prussia who had crowded into the Baroque-era city.

        • OG_Locc

          Um, these aircraft have been involved in a half dozen conflicts – they have never been involved in “mass slaughter”.

          • Mol

            America’s wars are mass slaughter.

    • dinosaurJR

      B-2s more or less always go by the call sign “Darth” (as in “Vader”) not Death. I would be very surprised if they went by that [Death] handle.

  • Ed

    So, what exactly is the scenario that the US is afraid of? Are they seriously considering that Russia would invade the EU, or NATO? Or do they just want to deter Russia from increasing its influence – or rather, from maintaining what influence they have left?

    I’m seriously starting to doubt whether all of this is still about Ukraine, or even about an assumed Russian threat.

    • ctuton

      The US is afraid its golden goose (the American taxpayer and American economic engine) is going to die. The west wants to take out both Russia and China while it believes it has a strategic advantage in military capability. It cares not that the world regresses for a few decades as a result of the war. It only matters that it regains the advantage that will allow it to continue to rule the world militarily and financially for the next 1000 years.

      • vladimir

        The US should’ve attacked anytime between 1991 and now, and should never have used that ‘peace dividend’ if what you say is true.

      • Bill May

        We can only pray you are right…

  • Anybody else remember what a unit with the numbers “509th” is notorious for?

    (Hint: Two cities.)

    • jetaddicted

      another hint: tibbets’ mother?

    • Cody3/75

      Here’s a lil FYI for you in case you didn’t know, Paul Tibbet’s grandson actually flys the B-2.

    • Eileen Kuch

      Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  • Arizona

    I guess when the russians start BOMBING america,THEY’LL HAVE good reason to bomb england too………………

  • beelza

    I just read a couple Russian language newspapers to see what actual Russians are saying about the B-2s. Overwhelming opinion is B-2s cannot successfully penetrate Russian air defenses. They are not worried at all about the B-2s. Also, they said the F-22s will do even worse.

    • OG_Locc

      LOL. Would you expect them to say anything different?

  • wally58

    Once upon a time, “Peace is our profession” was their motto. Now, that we have become what we hate and fallen to Satan’s rule, we speak openly of death and destruction. Go read about Satan – he roams roaring like a lion for something to destroy.

  • Citizen

    How much will it cost us after Russia shoots Death 11 and 12 down?

  • Usor

    B 2 = bird sh.t or bull sh.t squared

  • Usor

    Cameron is a fool – he should dissasociate from that crazy in the witehouse and stay out of any illegal and unjust wars. Russia is not the enemy.

  • Lex Loathar

    “Russian threat”, my arse! They are in England to threaten not to fight a threat!

  • OG_Locc

    Yep, that’s exactly what Slobodan thought too. LMAO

    • Mol

      Before or after the F-117 was shot down?

      • OG_Locc

        Both would be my guess. The F-117 was 25 year old, first generation technology. They never even got a shot off at the B-2s.

        • kusanagi no tsurugi

          And how old are B-2s nowadays?

  • OG_Locc

    Well, who wants to let reality get in their way of their manufactured outrage over the evils of America?

  • ctuton

    “… if [Russia] isn’t an economic threat, why bother?”

    Because Russia IS a political, economic and military threat to pax-Americana.

  • Pooter Bilbo

    If stealth is such BS, one has to wonder why Russia/India and China are working frantically to create stealth aircraft of their own. Furthermore, it is extremely strange that the air forces of almost every major European nation are pursuing stealth capabilities, despite the fact that it can easily be rendered useless by “hf radars.”

    Clearly there’s something that the head politicians and scientists of every major world power are missing. Maybe you can talk some sense into them.

  • Douglas Jack

    Military/airforce unfortunately is characterized by INTELLECTUAL COWARDS. Peace, prosperity & Civil-rights come through ‘dialectic’ (‘both-sided’) exchange. Open both-sided, equal-time, recorded & published ‘debate’ enables all sides to speak their truths to their wider communities & to the whole world for the court of public opinion to decide & contribute to. Submitting one’s will to state-terrorists like USA, Canada, Britain, NATO, Israel who have undisputed records of colonial & planetary extraction, resource exhaustion & abuse in order to feed fuel addiction is cowardly. Only intellectual-cowards use violence instead of openly presenting their facts, & perspectives equally with their perceived opponents. Mohandas Gandhi, “I can imagine a fully armed man to be at heart a coward. Possession of arms implies an element of fear, if not cowardice. But true non-violence is an impossibility without the possession of unadulterated fearlessness.”