US stealth bomber joins RAF jets on Fairford-based missions
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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