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USAF B-2 bombers conclude first Australia deployment

A total of six USAF B-2s have landed in Australia between January and August 2022. The unprecedented deployment of these bombers in Australia between July and August 2022 affirms the growing nature of US-Australia defence and strategic alliance following AUKUS. (Janes)

The first deployment of United States Air Force (USAF) Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit bombers to Australia has ended.

The deployment is very likely to have resulted in significant capability enhancements for the Australian Defence Force (ADF). It also sets the ground for future USAF stealth bomber operations from Australia.

Images of the deployment reveal that the B-2s co-operated with various units of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft, plus elements of the Australian Army and the Royal Australian Navy. The aircraft also played the role of a “hostile force” during Exercise ‘Koolendong 2022' in July.

Lieutenant Brandon Romano, a spokesperson for the US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), confirmed to Janes on 17 August that the “B-2s had returned to their home station of Whiteman Air Force Base” in Missouri.

“The deployment supported the enhanced cooperation initiative under the Force Posture Agreement between the United States and Australia. Airmen conducted training and strategic deterrence missions alongside the Royal Australian Air Force to demonstrate a shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Lt Romano added.

The deployment was part of the US Strategic Command's Bomber Task Force (BTF) operations. The “bomber missions are designed to showcase PACAF's ability to deter, deny, and dominate any influence or aggression from adversaries or competitors”, Lt Romano said.

Twenty per cent of the USAF's B-2 fleet was stationed at RAAF Amberley, near Brisbane. Janes

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