March 16 (UPI) -- U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit aircraft from the 509th Bomb wing arrived in Portugal Tuesday to support upcoming Bomber Task Force missions, the Air Force announced.
Airmen from the wing, which is based at Missouri's Whiteman Air Force Base, will conduct a hot-pit refuel and crew swap with the engines at Portugal's Lajes Field.
"These missions will add even more depth to this already historic Bomber Task Force iteration," Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander, said in a press release.
"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," Harrigian said.
Bomber Task Force missions are intended to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the NATO alliance, the Air Force said.
The B-2 Spirit's stealth characteristics give it the ability to penetrate an enemy's defenses and threaten its most heavily defended targets while avoiding detection from the adversary.
The aircraft's participation in exercises with allies and partners is meant to "demonstrate and strengthen our shared commitment to global security and stability," according to the Air Force.