A US Air Force B-2 stealth bomber landed in Iceland for the first time on 28 August, 'hot-pit' refuelling with its engines still running, US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) announced in a press release the next day. The aircraft, from the 509th Bomb Wing based at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, flew from Royal Air Force (RAF) Fairford in the UK to Keflavik Air Base in Iceland.
A US Air Force B-2 'hot-pit' refuelling after landing in Iceland for the first time on 28 August. (US Air Force/Senior Airman Thomas Barley)
The bomber arrived at RAF Fairford on 27 August, from where it and two other B-2s are temporarily operating as part of a bomber task force. USAFE would not specify how long the deployment would last.
USAFE said in a press release published on 27 August, The deployment of strategic bombers to the UK helps exercise RAF Fairford as US Air Forces in Europe’s forward operating location for bombers. The deployment also includes joint and allied training in Europe to improve bomber interoperability. Training with partners, allied nations and other US Air Force units contributes to our readiness and enables us to build enduring and strategic relationships necessary to confront a broad range of global challenges.
A USAFE spokesperson told
on 29 August that the B-2s would train with US 100th Air Refueling Wing KC-135 tankers and 48th Fighter Wing F-15s, as well as an undisclosed RAF squadron's F-35s. The KC-135s are based at RAF Mildenhall and the F-15s at RAF Lakenheath, both in the the UK.
The spokesperson would not specify where the B-2s would fly, other than to say throughout Europe, in international airspace, or over sovereign territory after co-ordination with and approval from all respective nations.