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B-2 Spirit aircraft conclude historic Bomber Task Force


B-2 Spirit aircraft from the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, flew the final mission of the most recent Bomber Task Force deployment, March 25, 2021.

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B 2 Spirit aircraft conclude historic Bomber Task Force A B-2 Spirit, assigned to Whiteman Air Force Base, arrives for a hot-pit refuel at Lajes Field, Azores, March 19, 2021. The bomber supported a Bomber Task Force mission and integrated with Norwegian F-35s in the High North. Strategic bomber missions enhance the readiness and training necessary to respond to any potential crisis or challenge across the globe (Picture source: US Air Force)


This iteration of the BTF consisted of B-2s and B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

The B-1s accomplished a number of historic firsts during this deployment. They were the first bomber to deploy to Norway, land in the Arctic Circle and land in Poland where they conducted the first hot-pit refuel of a B-1 in Europe, demonstrating a critical Agile Combat Employment capability.

From Norway, the B-1s flew nine sorties, integrating with ally and partner assets to include Norwegian F-35 Lightning aircraft, Swedish JAS-39 Gripens, Danish F-16 Fighting Falcons, Polish F-16s and German and Italian Eurofighter Typhoons currently supporting NATO’s Baltic Air Policing. The B-1s also worked alongside U.S. special operations forces to provide critical support to Norwegian and Swedish joint terminal attack controller training.

On March 16, B-2s joined this iteration of the BTF, flying their first of four missions in the High North. The B-2s integrated with the B-1s and the Norwegian F-35s currently supporting NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing mission off the coast of Iceland.

“Looking back at everything our Airmen have accomplished in the past month is pretty incredible,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander. “This iteration of BTF demonstrated our unwavering commitment to the security and stability of Europe, provided vital opportunities to strengthen our bonds with allies and partners and allowed our Airmen to develop and refine skills that are necessary for the future success of our air operations.”

Since 2018, the strategic bomber missions have provided theater familiarization for aircrew members and opportunities for U.S. integration with NATO allies and regional partners.