US Air Force bombers integrate with UK 5th Gen fighters in pre-planned mission

Source: US European Command

U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirits assigned to Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, conducted a flight from their home station to a training area over the North Sea, linking with United Kingdom F-35 Lightning II’s during a long-planned Bomber Task Force mission on December 13.


The routine BTF mission demonstrated the Department of Defense’s ability to project power and global reach through conventional bomber employment as well as its flexibility and agility to respond to evolving challenges in the operational environment.

“Strategic bomber missions aim to deter conflict, showcasing our rapid response capability and reinforcing commitment to the U.K. and NATO,” said Gen. James Hecker, USAFE-AFAFRICA commander and Allied Air Command commander. “Operating alongside RAF fifth-gen fighters enhances our strength through combined training.”



The bombers executed the mission with aerial refueling support from a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, U.K., and achieved all mission objectives. One B-2 returned to Whiteman AFB the same day and one landed at RAF Fairford.

Wednesday’s mission provided combined integration with Allied fifth-generation aircraft intended to enhance multi-domain interoperability and continue development of fifth-generation tactics, techniques and procedures.



Planning and executing globally integrated BTF missions underscores that the U.S., its allies, and partners possess credible military capabilities to protect the safety of their citizens and security of their shared values. Integration with NATO forces fosters greater interoperability and the ability to leverage shared capabilities. This synergy not only enhances operations but is invaluable to the overall effectiveness and ensures a unified response to any threat.



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