Two US Air Force Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bombers out of Whiteman Air Force Base,Missouri have been sent to RAF Fairford,England.Arriving on 9 June 2017,they are part of a short-term assurance and deterrence operation.The aircraft joined three B-52H Stratofortress and three B-1B Lancer bombers already in theatre.This marks the first time all three of US Strategic Command's nuclear capable bombers have been deployed to Europe simultaneously.
These deployments enhance the readiness and training necessary to respond to any contingency or challenge across the globe,according to US Air Forces Europe-Air Forces Africa.*
Colonel Jared Kennish,commander,322nd Air Expeditionary Group,described the operation:
The bomber assurance and deterrence missions these three aircraft are supporting are key to reinforcing our commitment to our Allies in NATO-in a very visible,very tangible way-that we stand shoulder to shoulder with them,no matter what.This short-term deployment demonstrates the flexibile global strike capabilities of the US bomber force,and ensures bomber crews maintain a high state of readiness.The training will provide opportunities to integrate capabilities with regional partners,and is part of the United States' commitment to supporting global security.*
The B-52Hs,B-1Bs and about 800 Airmen are also supporting NATO exercises Saber Strike and BALTOPS in the European theatre;while the B-2s are there solely for the basic assurance and deterrence mission.*
Northrop Grumman (NOC)