WHITEMAN AFB, Mo. --- Three B-2 Spirits and approximately 200 Airmen assigned to Whiteman Air Force Base (AFB), Missouri, deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, January 9, 2017, in support of the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Bomber Assurance and Deterrence mission.
During the deployment, the B-2s conducted local and long duration sorties and regional training to display the flexible global-strike capability of the U.S. bomber force and the United States' commitment to supporting global security.
The total-force integrated team accompanying the B-2 included members assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing (BW) and their mission partner, the Air National Guard 131st BW.
“It’s amazing how after only nine years of the 131st sharing the bomber mission with the 509th you can't tell where one unit stops and the other begins. It's always been one team one fight,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Jeffrey Suhr, a 131st BW pilot assigned to the 110th Bomb Squadron. “The training, exercises, and joint deployments accomplished by both wings only reinforces how each component of Team Whiteman executes operational readiness.
“The recent precision strikes against two Daesh camps in Libya just goes to show that while we’re deployed here at Guam, the operation- ready TFI team back at Whiteman can still take the fight to ISIS,” added Suhr.
While positioned half way across the globe, these Airmen had the opportunity to train with key regional partners and allies and synchronize joint efforts to produce multiple successful sorties.
“Every Bomber Assurance and Deterrence tasking to Whiteman tests our ability to execute strategic deterrence, global strike and combat support,” said Lt. Col. Scott Weyermuller, the 393d Bomb Squadron commander. “Our ability to execute training missions and integrate with assets in this theater prepares us for unexpected contingency operations and the call to strike a target anywhere, anytime.”
Throughout their time at Andersen, members of Team Whiteman provided secure, effective and reliable capabilities in order to support U.S. national security objectives, while experiencing firsthand how they are effectively executing USSTRATCOM’s Bomber Assurance and Deterrence mission.
“Guard and active-duty Airmen alike share the same goals: To conduct safe and credible B-2 operations at a deployed location,” said Weyermuller. “Total Force Integration means it doesn't matter what patches you wear, because the expectations are the same.
“Neither our adversaries nor allies grade our performance on who conducted the mission, so long as the mission was effective,” added Weyermuller. “That's what we're aiming to accomplish: Presenting a credible B-2 threat to our adversaries and a capable asset to our allies.”
From the Airmen who fix the aircraft to those who assemble the helmets and gear worn by the pilots, the experience gained during the deployments like this is invaluable.
“Across the board, Airmen across all functional areas have shown incredible initiative to overcome challenges and make this B-2 operation a success,” remarked Weyermuller. “It's no simple task to deploy the B-2, and the team did a phenomenal job!”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: About 200 airmen to support three B-2s is a pretty high number, especially as the aircraft deployed to a US Air Force base which already has all the necessary infrastructure.)