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B-2 Spirits depart Iceland, return home

Release Number: 010921

A U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit flies above the Atlantic Ocean while a U.S. Air Force KC-135 flies above it. The refueling boom is visible and connected to the B-2.

A U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing, conducts aerial refueling operations with the 100th Air Refueling Wing during a Bomber Task Force mission over the Atlantic Ocean, Sept. 6, 2021. The stealth bombers integrated with Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft enhancing bomber interoperability with partners and allied nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rachel Maxwell)

Three U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bomber aircraft from 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, departed their temporary-operating location at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, to return to their home base Sept. 11.

“Our ability to rotate Airmen and aircraft in theater and integrate capabilities with our allies, particularly in the High North, highlights our collective readiness,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander. “These missions demonstrate how our combined forces are prepared to respond to any potential crisis or challenge across the globe.”

During the deployment, the B-2s integrated with U.K. Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons and U.S. F-15 Eagle aircraft from the 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, England.

While in theater, the bomber aircraft also integrated with Norwegian F-35 fighter aircraft in an advanced mission designed to test escort procedures, standoff weapon employment and the suppression and destruction of air defenses. This Bomber Task Force deployment included over a dozen multinational missions over the past month.

BTF missions, which have been occurring since 2018, provide theater familiarization for aircrew members and opportunities for U.S. integration with NATO allies and regional partners. The bomber missions enhance readiness and provide the training necessary to face challenges such as adversary threats, humanitarian crises and natural disasters.

Continuing coverage of BTF deployments will be available on this website and on the DVIDS hub at: https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/bombertaskforceeurope