U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit aircraft from the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, arrived at Lajes Field, Portugal, in support of upcoming Bomber Task Force missions, March 16, 2021.
Airmen from the 509th Bomb Wing will conduct a hot-pit refuel of the B-2s and a crew swap with engines running before the aircraft take off again to continue the mission. The B-2s will rely on the strategically located Lajes Field to perform these mission essential tasks during several upcoming Bomber Task Force sorties.
“These missions will add even more depth to this already historic Bomber Task Force iteration,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander. “B-2s joining the B-1s in theater offers unique opportunities to advance our readiness as we continue to work with and learn from our allies.”
Bomber Task Force missions demonstrate U.S. commitment to the collective defense of the NATO alliance and are a visible demonstration of the U.S. capability of extended deterrence.
The B-2 Spirit’s low-observable, or “stealth,” characteristics give it the ability to penetrate an enemy’s most sophisticated defenses and threaten its most-valued, heavily defended targets while avoiding adversary detection, tracking and engagement. Its participation in recurring Bomber Task Force operations and engagements with our allies and partners demonstrate and strengthen our shared commitment to global security and stability.