US stealth bomber joins RAF jets on Fair­ford-based mis­sions

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS -

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STEALTH bombers from the United States Air Force (USAF) flew along­side fighters from the Royal Air Force in their lat­est mis­sion out of RAF Fair­ford in Glouces­ter­shire.

The USAF B-2 Spirit stealth bombers were part­nered by RAF F-35 fighter jets on Thurs­day as part of a long-planned de­ploy­ment, the first time the two Amer­i­can bombers have worked with NON-USAF F-35s.

Pic­tures re­leased by the Amer­i­can air force show the planes fly­ing over Dover, the English Chan­nel and sur­round­ing coun­try­side.

Three B-2 bombers are to be based in the Cotswolds for train­ing and mis­sions that will last into Sep­tem­ber.

The USAF said: “This train­ing demon­strates US sup­port to NATO and un­der­scores US com­mit­ment to de­ter­ring ad­ver­sary ag­gres­sion to­ward al­lies and partners.

“It also en­hances the US’S abil­ity to in­te­grate bombers with fifth­gen­er­a­tion fighter air­craft like the F-35.”

The B-2 bombers, part of the Bomber Task Force cur­rently de­ployed to the US Eu­ro­pean Com­mand area, are from the 509th Bomb Wing, White­man Air Force Base, Mis­souri.

The air­craft ar­rived on Au­gust 27 and are tem­po­rar­ily op­er­at­ing out of the Glouces­ter­shire air base.

The de­ploy­ment of the air­craft in this coun­try helps ex­er­cise RAF Fair­ford as the for­ward op­er­at­ing lo­ca­tion for US Air Force bombers in Europe.

Ac­cord­ing to the USAF, mis­sions like this sharpen the abil­ity to re­spond to any cri­sis and chal­lenge threats world­wide.

“Our Royal Air Force friends are in­te­gral to the 509th Bomb Wing mis­sion,” said Lt. Col. Rob Schoeneber­g, Bomber Task Force com­man­der, 393rd Ex­pe­di­tionary Squadron.

“Work­ing along­side in­ter­na­tional fifth generation air­craft pro­vides unique train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for us, bol­sters our in­te­gra­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and show­cases the com­mit­ment we have to our NATO al­liance.”

While de­ployed in the UK, the air­craft will con­duct a se­ries of train­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in Europe.

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