U.S. F-15Cs And RNoAF F-35As Escorted B-2 Bombers During Mission Over Iceland.

An F-15C Eagles assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron conduct aerial operations with a B-2A Spirit in support of Bomber Task Force Europe 20-2 over the Keflavik, Iceland March 17, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Matthew Plew)

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.

Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35A aircraft and a U.S. Air Force B-2A Spirit bomber conduct aerial operations in support of Bomber Task Force Europe 20-2 over Keflavik, Iceland March 17, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Matthew Plew)
A KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing and an F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron conduct routine aerial operations in support of Bomber Task Force Europe over Keflavik, Iceland, March 17, 2020. Bomber missions provide opportunities to train and work with NATO allies and theater partners in combined and joint operations and exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Matthew Plew)

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.

A B-2A Spirit bomber assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing is escorted by F-15C Eagles assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing and Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35A aircraft in support of Bomber Task Force Europe 20-2 over Keflavik, Iceland, March 17, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Matthew Plew)

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.

The route the B-2s flew in 2019.

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:

This 493rd FS F-15C model is available from AirModels. Click here to buy yours.



About David Cenciotti 4127 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance 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 four books.