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

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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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


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

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

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.”

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