The Spirit is Willing

From the end of August until late September, a trio of USAF B-2A Spirits operated from RAF Fairford on a Bomber Task Force rotation. Jim Winchester reports on this European deployment by the stealth bomber.

Main photo: B-2A Spirit of New York leads a formation of 48th Fighter Wing F-15Cs and RAF Lightnings on an integration mission over the Norwegian Sea. USAF/Tech. Sgt Matthew Plew
Spirit of Mississippi was shown off to the press at RAF Fairford on August 30. Jim Winchester
The bomber rotation saw Spirit of Mississippi make a solo visit to Keflavík, Iceland and later, along with Spirit of New York to Lajes in the Azores. USAF

Three USAF Northrop Grumman B-2A Spirits, supported by over 150 personnel completed a deployment to RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire on September 19 when they returned to Whiteman AFB, Missouri. The rotation demonstrated the ability to set up a Spirit forward operating base in Europe. While in the UK they undertook integration sorties with RAF F-35B Lightnings – the first time they have flown in formation with foreign fighters – and USAF F-15 Eagles, and made brief visits to Iceland and the Azores.

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