U.S. B-2 Spirit Stealth Bombers from Whiteman AFB conduct precision airstrike in Libya. Drones perform scene “cleanup”

Jan 19 2017 - 15 Comments

Two B-2 stealth bombers performed a round-trip mission from CONUS (Continental US) to perform airstrikes on Daesh training camps in Libya. Drones “cleaned-up” the operation firing Hellfires at fighters trying to run to safety.

Two B-2 Spirit stealth bombers from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base carried out a precision air strike in Libya on Jan. 18, 2017.

According to the information released by the U.S. DoD, the raid was conducted in conjunction with the Libyan Government of National Accord, to wipe out four Daesh camps 45 kilometers southwest of Sirte.

The Spirit dropped 108 precision-guided bombs on the ISIS training camps: along with the Hellfires fired by U.S. drones (most probably MQ-9 Reapers or MQ-1 Predators often reported flying over northern Africa) immediately thereafter to “clean up” the operation, the air strike killed an estimated 85 terrorists according to Fox News who spoke with U.S. defense officials.

This is not the first time the B-2s conduct a Global Strike mission around the globe to attack ground targets in Libya: in March 2011, as happened during Operation Allied Force in 1999, the stealth bombers launched from Whiteman AFB, Missouri and with the support of many tankers along the route dropped 40 conventional bombs on the aircraft shelters at Ghardabiya airbase where no less of 7 LARAF units equipped with Mig-21s, Su-22s, Su-24s, J-21s, Mi-8s and Mi-24s were based.

A B-2 spirit stealth bomber from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base takes off in support of operations In conjunction with the Libyan Government of National Accord, the U.S. military conducted precision airstrikes Jan. 18, 2017 destroying four Daesh camps 45 kilometers southwest of Sirte. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jovan Banks)

  • Les

    I’d love to have an Aviationist staffer project the cost of that little B-1 adventure

    • sferrin

      Yes, much better to leave terrorists to thrive. Jesus. And they were B-2s not B-1s. Completely different aircraft.

      • sglover

        “Terrorist” is, of course, anybody the Beltway crowd claims. Joe Stalin applauds your “patriotism”!

    • theworkingclass

      Anyone can find it on line. I found $130,159/flight hour. So, times 2 warplanes, times 30 hours: $7,809,540, or, since they actually used a spare as well, $11,714,310, just for the B-2s. Another site suggests B-2s cost $169,313/flight hour. The rest of the calculation involves how many tankers, escorts and drones of each type flying how many total flying hours. I will leave that as an exercise for the reader, but we can easily conclude that aerial bombardment is expensive.

  • I’m trying to figure out the combination here to get 108 bombs but I don’t get to that number. If there were two B-2As they likely dropped a payload of 500 lb JDAMs (80 bombs) and either 1,000 lb or 2,000 lb JDAMs (24 bombs). Perhaps the extra four came from the drones unless they didn’t fly with this exact payload. Perhaps they flew with a different mix than the simple mix described above.

  • leroy

    Again U.S. air power, unmatched by any other nation, shines. I love it!

  • The Dude

    I think it was an expensive mission…that could be done with other assets in Mediterranean sea. Attack from carrier or cruise missiles+clean with uav from sigonella. It was a greeting for president Obama….waste money of Trump

    • sferrin

      There were no carriers anywhere near the Middle East. And how many Harriers would it take to drop 108 JDAMs?

    • One Man

      No doubt part training mission and part signal to others………….more than what meets the eye.

    • rwnutjob

      Thanks to Obama, there no carriers deployed ANYWHERE for the first time since at least 2000.

  • oxi

    All without approval from Congress, an act of a dictator!

    • ghostmourn

      Not so by any way of looking at things, as the commander in chief the President has broad power over a civilian controlled military, it has always been this way and It was meant to be this way by our founding fathers.

      Even the ‘War Powers Act’ that requires Congressional approval to declare war didn’t come into existence until 1973.

  • dumpster4

    B-52s are also being used in conjunction with UCAVs in Syria:

    “U.S. officials say the country’s air force has carried out trikes on a
    militant camp in Syria, killing more than 100 Al-Qaeda fighters,
    marking the final counterterrorism attack carried out under U.S.
    President Barack Obama.

    Military officials say a B-52 bomber and an undisclosed number of
    U.S. drones took part in the raid shortly after sundown on January 19
    west of Aleppo near the border with Turkey.

    They described the militants killed in the air strikes as “core” Al-Qaeda
    members.”

    See:

    http://www.rferl.org/a/u-s-air-strikes-syria-al-qaeda-100-fighters-killed/28247349.html

  • seems like the russians are much more cost efficient at bombing the islamists. I mean you really dont need a stealth b2 to bomb islamists who have barely a few stingers to their name.

  • rats123

    This is pretty cool. The US firstly supplies rebels with equipment thne proceeds to bomb them. A real double whammy for the US tax payer!