B-2 Spirit Bombers arriving to RAF Fairford, UK, as seen from an F-15C Eagle from RAF Lakenheath.
On Mar. 12, 2020, three B-2 Spirit bombers, from the 509th Bomb Wing and the 131st Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, arrived to RAF Fairford, UK, as part of a Bomber Task Force Europe deployment.
One arrived from the U.S. whereas the other two redeployed from Lajes Field, Azores.
“The aircraft will operate out of various military installations in the U.S. European Command’s area of responsibility. Strategic bomber deployments to Europe provide theater familiarization for aircrew members and demonstrate U.S. commitment to allies and partners,” said the EUCOM press release issued when the aircraft arrived at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal, on Mar. 9, 2020, supported by the KC-10 Extenders from 305th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst.
“Integrating with our NATO Allies and theater partner nations, as well as other U.S. Air Force and joint units, contributes to our ready and postured forces and enables us to build enduring and strategic relationships necessary to confront a broad range of global challenges.”
Earlier today, the aircraft departed Lajes Field, Portugal, and conducted bombing training runs over Garvi Island, U.K. before landing at RAF Fairford. The The deployment to Europe of the B-2 bombers is becoming more frequent recently: in the night on Aug. 27, 2019, three U.S. Air Force B-2A Spirit stealth bombers belonging to the 509th Bomb Wing, from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, landed at RAF Fairford, UK, for a Bomber Task Force deployment that lasted some weeks.
During their stay in the UK last year, one of the three strategic bombers landed at Keflavik, Iceland, marking the first landing of B-2 in Iceland, then, in the night between Sept. 4 and 5, another one flew a sortie over the Arctic Circle taking off from from RAF Fairford, UK, at around 22.45LT on Sept. 4 and returning to the deployment base at 09.45LT on Sept. 5. On Sept. 9, the B-2A “Spirit of Mississippi” (82-1071) landed at Lajes Airfield, Azores, Portugal, for a hot-pit refueling, before returning back to their deployment base. The B-2s, also flew above the English countryside and over the White Cliffs of Dover along with two British F-35B Lightning jets in a mission that marked the first integration between the B-2 and a foreign Lightning. On Sept. 16, when a B-2 flew with two F-15C from the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, UK, and two RAF F-35B Lightning from RAF Marham.
Let’s see what kind of integration activity they will fly during this deployment. Meanwhile, take a look at the stunning photographs in this post, taken as they approached RAF Faiford and were greeted by the 493nd FS F-15C Eagle jets.