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U.S. B-2 Spirit bombers return from deployment to Iceland

By
Jonna Lorenz
A U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit conducts aerial refueling operations during a Bomber Task Force mission over the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 6. Photo by Staff Sgt. Rachel Maxwell/U.S. Air Force
A U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit conducts aerial refueling operations during a Bomber Task Force mission over the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 6. Photo by Staff Sgt. Rachel Maxwell/U.S. Air Force

Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Three U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bombers returned to Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri after a deployment to Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, that included a dozen multinational missions over the past month.

The bombers, from the 509th Bomb Wing, left Iceland on Saturday, the Air Force announced Tuesday.

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They integrated with British Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons and U.S. F-15 Eagle aircraft from the 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, England.

"Our ability to rotate Airmen and aircraft in theater and integrate capabilities with our allies, particularly in the High North, highlights our collective readiness," Gen Jeff Harrigian, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, said in a statement.

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During the deployment, the B-2s also participated in a training mission with Norway over the North Sea.

That exercise was designed to integrate Norwegian F-35 Lightning II fighter jets to test escort procedures, stand-off weapon employment and suppression of air defense.

Bomber Task Force missions began in 2018 to support integration with NATO allies and regional partners.

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In August, two B-2 stealth bombers joined four B-1 Lancers and four F-15C Eagles in Bomber Task Force operations with joint and allied partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

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"The conversion from Continuous Bomber Presence to the Bomber Task Force mission, that is the iconic example of Dynamic Force Employment in the entire Department of Defense," Adm. Charles A. Richard, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, said in August, according to a Tweet from Air Force Global Strike Command.

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