Stealth Down Under: U.S. B-2s deployed to Australia carried out joint missions with Aussie F-35s.
On Jul. 10 and 12, 2022, two pairs of U.S. Air Force B-2As, belonging to the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, landed at at RAAF Base Amberley in what has been reported as the largest deployment of Spirit bombers in recent times. The strategic bombers went Down Under as part of a Pacific Air Forces Bomber Task Force (BTF) deployment supporting the Enhanced Cooperation Initiative under the Force Posture Agreement between the United States and Australia.
Normally, these deployments see the U.S. Air Force bombers integrate with local allies and conduct training missions and strategic deterrence missions across the region.
The BTF underway is not an exception as the images in this post, released by Whiteman AFB social media accounts prove.
The shots show two B-2A spirit flying alongside two F-35A of the Royal Australian Air Force, over Australia on July 18, 2022, during exercise Koolendong 22. Exercise Koolendong 22 is a combined and joint force exercise focused on expeditionary advanced base operations conducted by U.S. service members and Australian Defence Force personnel.
The photographs were clearly taken from the boom operator station of a U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker supporting the missions and most probably refueling also some of the aircraft part of this unusual stealth “package”: in fact, while they cooperate quite frequently, you will hardly find shots of B-2s flying so close to one another and form up with other stealth aircraft.