B-2 stealth bombers return to Hawaii for second round of training, patrolling
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii – 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, the Air Force said.
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.
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 bombers routinely rotate to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam for training and regional patrols.
“Deploying to Hawaii enables us to showcase to a large American and international audience that the B-2 is on watch 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready to protect our country and its allies,” Lt. Col. Joshua Dorr, 393rd Bomb Squadron director of operations, said in the statement.
“It affords us the opportunity to work with our allies in joint exercises and validates our always-ready global strike capability,” he said.
The B-2 Spirit can carry conventional or nuclear weapons. Its design makes it difficult to be detected by radar, allowing it to penetrate sophisticated enemy defenses.