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B-2 Spirits participate in Koa Lightning

This B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is ready to gas up via a tanker over the Western Pacific. The B-2 is a truly global reach weapon as it has the capability for long duration sorties, like the latest round of Koa Lightning exercises. In these exercises, the stealth bomber dropped inert weapons over the bombing range on the Big Island of Hawaii and then simulated taking down enemy naval vessels in their home ports. (Courtesy photo)

This B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is ready to gas up via a tanker over the Western Pacific. The B-2 is a global reach weapon as it has the capability for long duration sorties, like the latest round of Koa Lightning exercises. In these exercises, the stealth bomber dropped inert weapons over the bombing range on the Big Island of Hawaii and then simulated taking down enemy naval vessels in their home ports. (Courtesy photo)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- B-2 Spirit stealth bombers from the 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed here from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., took off for their latest batch of Koa Lightning exercises Nov. 15.

These sorties, which are well over 20 hours in duration, tout the Air Force's unique capability to send long range bombers over any target, anywhere in the world, at any time.

This particular Koa mission was a little different than previous missions. This time, the stealth bomber simulated attacking naval vessels in their home port while over Hawaii.

"Our aircraft routinely practice engaging a variety of targets," said Col. Damian McCarthy, 36th Operations Group commander. "Most imagine our stealth bomber taking out strategic, land based objectives but our Airmen can put ordnance over anything, including enemy naval assets when required."

The B-2 Spirit, with its stealth airframe, heavy payload and in-flight refueling capability is only limited by the human fatigue factor of its aircrew. Global reach missions, such as Koa Lightning, is exactly what America's most advanced bomber was designed for.

"This Koa exercised our ability to dynamically target naval assets in a port facility," said Lt. Col. Todd Copeland, 393rd EBS director of operations. "The combination of precision, payload and stealth make the B-2 an excellent platform to strike an enemies' navy before it can put out to sea, or cripple their ability to re-supply and reconstitute their ships."

The aviators flying the simulated naval attacks landed late in the afternoon Nov. 16. The B-2s are the latest airframes deployed to Andersen as part of the continued bomber presence mission in the Western Pacific region.

The stealth bombers replaced 18 F-16s Fighting Falcons and six B-52 Stratofortresses, which were here from May - October. This rotation is part of the Pacific Air Forces strategy to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific area of operations.
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