The B-2s of the BTF 20-2 have flown a mission to Iceland.
On Mar. 16, 2020, flying as MISTY 11-12 two B-2A Spirit bombers belonging to the 509th Bomb Wing from Whiteman Air Force Base, deployed to RAF Fairford, UK, as part of the Bomber Task Force Europe 20-2, flew towards the Arctic: supported by at least one KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing and escorted by three F-15C Eagle jets assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron from RAF Lakenheath, the B-2s operated over Keflavik, Iceland.
During the mission, the B-2s were also intercepted by three Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35A jets out of the four that deployed to Keflavik International Airport (KIA) on Feb. 19, 2020 to support NATO’s Airborne Surveillance and Interception Capabilities to meet Iceland’s Peacetime Preparedness Needs (ASIC IPPN) mission.
As usual, the mission provided also a good opportunity for some cool aerial photographs of the various formations, as those that you can find in this post.
Interestingly, the B-2s have not landed in Iceland: on Aug. 28, 2019, last time the B-2 operated in Icelandic airspace, flying as MYTEE 22, the “Spirit of Mississippi” (82-1071), one of the three B-2A stealth bombers deployed to RAF Fairford as part of another Bomber Task Force, landed at KIA marking the first landing of B-2 in Iceland ever. Back then, the Spirit bomber conducted hot-pit refueling, which is a method of refueling an aircraft without shutting down the engines. The use of strategic bombers in Iceland helped exercise Naval Air Station Keflavik as a forward location for the B-2, ensuring that it is engaged, postured and ready with credible force to assure, deter and defend the U.S. and its allies in an increasingly complex security environment,” says the U.S. Air Force. In fact, the use of Keflavik expanded the capabilities of the stealth bomber well into the strategic Arctic region, where the bombers flew an extended duration sortie from RAF Fairford few days later, in the night between Sept. 4 and 5, 2019.
Here’s the route they flew (based on reporting points, NOTAMs, radio comms and ADS-B monitoring), a reader who wishes to remain anonymous sent us last year.
Here below you can see an interesting shot of one of the B-2 flying over RAF Coningsby on its way to RAF Fairford in the afternoon of Mar. 16, 2020:
Two B2 Bombers just passed over #RAFConingsby …
Awesome!!! 👍 16/03/20.@B1B_Driver @US_Stratcom #potn @OnlyGreatsPics @LincsSkies @ThePhotoHour @EGXCinfo @RAFConingsby @CivMilAir @TheAviationist #B2 @RAFFFDSpotters @RAF_Fairford @Whiteman_AFB pic.twitter.com/R2t1sSl5dx
— Purple Jaguar ✈ (@purplejaguarr) March 16, 2020