- The US Air Force has selected Tinker and Edwards AFBs as main B-21 support bases
- Tinker AFB has a long history in aircraft maintenance, while Edwards AFB has previously hosted experimental aircraft
The US Air Force (USAF) has selected Tinker Air Force Base (AFB), Oklahoma, and Edwards Air Force Base, California, to serve as primary support bases for the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider long-range strike-bomber (LRS-B).
The service said on 16 November that Tinker AFB would co-ordinate maintenance and sustainment, while Edwards AFB would lead testing and evaluation. The air force said Tinker AFB has an air logistics complex with a deep and accomplished history.
USAF spokesperson Ann Stefanek said on 16 November that Tinker AFB and Edwards AFB were the only locations considered because of the unique requirements for these missions. Edwards AFB previously hosted flight testing of advanced aircraft such as the X-15 hypersonic aircraft and the Lockheed Martin F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter.
Robins AFB, Georgia, and Hill AFB, Utah, will support Tinker AFB to ensure the B-21 is maintained and, when necessary, overhauled and upgraded. The workforce at the bases will also be equipped to rebuild parts, assemblies, or subassemblies of the aircraft, as well as testing and reclaiming equipment as necessary for depot activations.
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