Three B-2 Spirit bombers and more than 200 airmen arrived Thursday at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to support U.S. Strategic Command’s Bomber Task Force mission. This is the second time B-2 bombers, based at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., have rotated to Hawaii to support the task force, the service said in a statement Friday. The nuclear-capable aircraft from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, arrived as part of a routine U.S Strategic Command-led Bomber Task Force mission, Air Force officials said Friday.
In August, the stealth bombers flew multiple local and long-duration sorties out of Hawaii, conducted rapid “hot-pit” refueling and trained with F-22 Raptors operated by the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 199th Fighter Squadron. B-2 Spirit bombers conducted their first-ever rotation to Hickam and executed missions with their F-22 Raptor stealth fighter counterparts, giving pilots a sense of how the two aircraft would pair in a high-threat environment.The latest deployment marks only the second time B-2s have deployed to Hawaii, as the Spirit often deploys instead to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, when training with Pacific allies and partners.
The Northrop (later Northrop Grumman) B-2 Spirit, also known as the Stealth Bomber, is an American heavy penetration strategic bomber, featuring low observable stealth technology designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses; it is a flying wing design with a crew of two. The bomber can deploy both conventional and thermonuclear weapons, such as eighty 500 lb (230 kg)-class (Mk 82) JDAM Global Positioning System-guided bombs, or sixteen 2,400 lb (1,100 kg) B83 nuclear bombs. The B-2 is the only acknowledged aircraft that can carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons in a stealth configuratio