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

B-2 spirit stealth bombers from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri prepares for operations, in conjunction with the Libyan Government of National Accord, the U.S. military conducted precision airstrikes Jan. 18, 2017 destroying two Daesh camps 45 kilometers southwest of Sirte. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joel Pfiester)

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)
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.

12 Comments

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

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

    • 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

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

    • 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.

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