EUROPEAN TENSIONS: TWO U.S. STEALTH BOMBERS HEAD TO EUROPE

Washington Times on June 10, 2014, reported that two U.S. B-2 Spirit stealth bombers are being deployed to Europe for the first time. The deployment of theadvanced aircraft will be used for “short term deployment” at Fairford, a Royal Air Force base in England — just three hours from Russia. Excerpts below:

“This deployment of strategic bombers provides an invaluable opportunity to strengthen and improve interoperability with our allies and partners,” said Adm. CecilHaney, commander of U.S. Strategic Command.
“The training and integration of strategic forces demonstrates to our nation’s leaders and our allies that we have the right mix of aircraft and expertise to respond to a variety of potential threats and situations,” he continued.

The radar-evading B-2 bombers are likely being used as a show of force to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine after the Russia’s recent annexation of Crimea.

The stealth bombers, which can carry up to 50,000 pounds of bombs, assisted Europe and NATO allies in 1999 with targeting bombing runs in Serbia, but they were operating at the time out of Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, the International Business Times reported on June 10. The round-trip missions lasted 30 hours.

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