Four US Air Force B-2A Spirits have arrived in Australia direct from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, supporting a Bomber Task Force deployment. The aircraft from the 509th Bomb Wing started arriving on the 10th of July.
In total, five B-2s visited Australia, 82-1068 ‘Spirit of New York’, 82-1070 ‘Spirit of Ohio’, 82-1067 ‘Spirit of Arizona’, 90-0040 ‘Spirit of Alaska’ and 92-0700 ‘Spirit of Florida’.
The B-2 deployment is yet another instance of the Enhanced Cooperation Initiative put into motion under the Force Posture Agreement between the United States and Australia.
“This deployment of the B-2 to Australia demonstrates and enhances the readiness and lethality of our long-range penetrating strike force,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Kousgaard, 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron commander. “We look forward to training and enhancing our interoperability with our RAAF teammates, as well as partners and allies across the Indo-Pacific as we meet PACAF objectives.”
While deployed during July and August, the B-2s took part in Exercise ‘Koolendong’ and Exercise ‘Arnhem Thunder’ in the Northern Territory. “Training and operating with our Australian partners has been an absolute blast,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Kousgaard.
This comes after a B-2 from the 509th Bomb Wing was the first of its type to land at RAAF Base Amberley, after flying a roughly 50hr round mission. During that mission the B-2 integrated with Australian F/A-18F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers and F-35 Lightnings as well as USAF F-16 Aggressors.
The deployment was supported by the 909th Air Refuelling Squadron, based out of Kadena Air Force Base and 36SQN from RAAF Base Amberley providing the fuel, with the 22nd Airlift Squadron from Travis Air Force Base operating C-5s for transport.