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Air Force F-22s And B-2 Bombers Are Prowling The Pacific, And The Photos Are Awesome
The U.S. Air Force has two of its most elite aircraft — the B-2 Spirit bomber and the F-22 Raptor — training together in the Pacific, reassuring America's allies and sending a warning to strategic competitors and adversaries about the sheer power the U.S. brings to the table.
These stunning photos show the powerful aircraft tearing across the Pacific, where the U.S. has increasingly found itself facing challenges from a rising China.
Three B-2 bombers and 200 airmen from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri deployed to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Jan. 10 to support US Strategic Command's Bomber Task Force mission.
A U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit bomber deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, and two F-22 Raptors from the 199th Fighter Squadron at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, fly in formation near Diamond Head State Monument, Hawaii, after completing interoperability training, Jan. 15, 2019.(U.S. Navy/MC2 Kenneth Rodriguez Santiago)
While B-2 bombers regularly rotate throughout the Pacific, having previously been deployed to Andersen Air Force Base on Guam, the most recent deployment marks only the second time these powerful stealth aircraft have been sent to Hawaii to drill alongside the F-22s.
A U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit bomber deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, and two F-22 Raptors from the 199th Fighter Squadron at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, fly in formation near Diamond Head State Monument, Hawaii, during an interoperability training mission Jan. 15, 2019(U.S. Navy/MC2 Kenneth Rodriguez Santiago)
The stealth bombers were deployed to the Pacific to send a message to allies and adversaries alike, specifically that "the B-2 is on watch 24 hours a day, seven days a week ready to protect our country and its allies."
A B-2 Spirit bomber deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, and F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing fly near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.(U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)
When the B-2s were first deployed to Hawaii last October, the US military stressed that the deployment highlighted the bomber's completely unmatched "strategic flexibility to project power from anywhere in the world."
The B-2 Spirit bomber is reportedly a crucial part of most war plans to fight China. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)
The multi-role B-2 Spirit bomber has the ability to break through tough defenses, bringing a significant amount of firepower, both conventional and nuclear, to bear on enemy targets.
A B-2 Spirit bomber deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, conducts aerial refueling near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)
Despite its large size, the B-2's low-observable or stealth characteristics make it almost invisible to enemy radars, allowing it to slip past enemy defenses and put valuable targets at risk
A close-up of the B-2 Spirit bomber refueling. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)
The F-22 Raptor, an elite air-superiority fighter, which the Air Force asserts "cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft," is an extremely lethal aircraft capable of performing air-to-air and air-to-ground combat missions.
An F-22 Raptor from the Hawaii Air National Guard's 199th Fighter Squadron, conducts an aerial refueling with a KC-135 Stratotanker (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)
Both the B-2 Spirit and the F-22 raptor are stealth aircraft, and both have the ability to penetrate sophisticated air-defense systems, such as those that defend the Chinese mainland and the wall of surface-to-air missiles deployed in the South China Sea. China has been actively enhancing its anti-access, area-denial capabilities to keep the US military at arms length.
A U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit bomber flies near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, during a interoperability training mission Jan. 15, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)
Together, a B-2 accompanied by a pair of F-22s could kick in an enemy's door, let loose a firestorm of devastation, and get out before the enemy figures out what happened.
A B-2 Spirit bomber deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, conducts aerial refueling. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)
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