Three B-2s deploying to the Asia-Pacific region amid growing tensions with North Korea

A KC-135 Stratotanker from Altus AFB refuels a B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber from Whiteman AFB, Mo. during a refueling training mission, Aug. 29, 2012. The KC-135 Stratotanker aircrew was assigned to refuel a B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber in support of a training mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Franklin R. Ramos / 97th Air Mobility Wing / Released)

B-2 bombers deploying near the Korean Peninsula.

On Mar. 10, the U.S. announced the deployment of three Air Force B-2 stealth bombers to the Asia-Pacific region amid growing tensions with North Korea.

The aircraft, from the 509th Bomb Wing, from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, will officially conduct training activities with the Australian armed forces, even though the deployment of the Spirit radar-evading planes seems more to be a way to flex muscles against Pyongyang that has threatened pre-emptive nuclear strikes after the U.S. and South Korea kicked off joint drills earlier this month.

Although the U.S. Air Force has not disclosed where the aircraft will be based, it is quite likely that the aircraft will operate out of Andersen Air Force Base, in Guam, strategically located in the Pacific, that has already hosted U.S. bombers involved in extended deterrence missions in the region.

Washington recently staged a show of force when four U.S. Air Force F-22 “Raptor” fighter aircraft from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan, deployed to Osan Air Base, in South Korea, and performed a flyover near the base along with four Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) F-15 Slam Eagles and U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

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.