B-2 Spirits depart Andersen following routine deployment

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Cierra Presentado
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Three B-2 Spirits redeployed to the continental U.S. following a deployment here as part of U.S. Pacific Command's continuous bomber presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region.

The bombers, and approximately 200 support Airmen, assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri deployed here, Aug. 6, to improve combat readiness and ensure regional stability. Bomber deployments help maintain stability and security in the region, while allowing units to become familiar with operating in the theater according to PACOM.

The team included maintainers, medical and communications Airmen who deployed with the B-2s to help maintain Air Force operational and support capabilities and evaluated the readiness of the assets through routine training sorties througout the Pacific region. The deployment also offered aircrews the opportunity to hone skills in several key areas.

"This is an invaluable opportunity that allows us to train and integrate with U.S. Pacific Command," said Maj. Aaron Hager, the 509th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. "The training conducted during this deployment ensures our crews stay proficient in crucial skill sets such as command and control, air refueling and weapon load training."

Tech. Sgt. Daniel Youman, the 509th AMXS quality assurance inspector, has deployed to Andersen AFB four times.

"Each time I've been here, I've always performed the same specialty, (but) this is my first time being able to use the hot-refueling method on the aircraft," Youman said. "Basically, we are able to refuel the B-2 while it is running."

The hot-refueling capability ensures the B-2's combination of stealth, long range, large payload and precision weaponry can return to the fight more rapidly, providing decision makers with the ability to project power and deliver decisive effects.

From the crew chiefs to the weapons loaders, each specialty is needed for the B-2s to maintain a forward presence and remain a reliable regional partner.

"Each of us has an important role out here," said Staff Sgt. Daniel Jensen, the 509th AMXS weapons loader team chief. "Our main goal and mission is to show the world that the B-2 is able to perform and provide global capabilities."

PACOM has maintained a deployed strategic bomber presence in the region for more than a decade, but the last extended deployment for the B-2 to Guam took place January 2012. The most recent deployment allowed Andersen AFB Airmen to exercise B-2 specific support while re-familiarizing the Whiteman AFB Airmen with the region.

The B-2 is a multi-role bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. A dramatic leap forward in technology, the aircraft represents a major milestone in the U.S. bomber modernization program; it brings massive firepower, in a short time, anywhere on the globe through previously impenetrable defenses.