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B-2 Spirit Bomber Gets All-Star Fighter Jet Escort Over the Pacific

Ever since humans learned they could drop bombs from the sky onto enemy positions, they strived to come up with increasingly more capable bombers. But these flying weapons platforms can only be effective if they reach their targets, and humans also learned fighter plane escorts are also a must.
B-2 Spirit with diverse fighter jet escort 6 photos
B-2 Spirit with diverse fighter jet escortB-2 Spirit with diverse fighter jet escortB-2 Spirit with diverse fighter jet escortB-2 Spirit with diverse fighter jet escortB-2 Spirit with diverse fighter jet escort
In the days of the Second World War, formations of bombers flying with escorts were a usual sight. Today, such things are less common, both because until recently humanity was doing just fine without large-scale wars, but also because military airplanes can now fulfill several roles at the same time.

There are very few purebred bombers left out there, and the B-2 Spirit is one of them. First flown in 1989, it still takes to the sky today, most of the time (luckily) just for training missions. The one we have here, deployed with the 509th Bomb Wing out of Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, is seen doing exactly that.

The plane was this week on a training mission to the Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley, the first time a B-2 was sent there, in a bid to “increase interoperability with a critical ally and operate forward in the Indo-Pacific region.” That pretty much means the bomber got to fly alongside a select company of fighter jets, but also the KC-135 Stratotanker gas station that provided support.

All of the eight planes taking part in the exercise can be seen in the main photo of this piece. They are F-35A Lightning IIs, EA-18 Growlers, and F/A-18F Super Hornets deployed by the Australians, but also American F-16C Fighting Falcons which had the role of aggressors.

“Coordination and communication is the key to overcoming any situation and we’re going to be better off in the long run for it,” said in a statement U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Aaron Porter, 509th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels superintendent.

“That’s what these missions are for, building relationships with our allies and partners, overcoming challenges and making things better for the future.”


 
 
 
 
 

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