A trio of B-2 stealth bombers have redeployed to the continental United States from Andersen AFB, Guam, after a three-week rotation to support US Pacific Command’s continuous bomber presence rotation, Andersen officials announced. The rotation was the first deployment of B-2s to the island since January 2012. Some 200 support airmen accompanied the three bombers from 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo., to support readiness training and familiarity with PACOM operations. Maj. Arron Hager, the 509th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander, said the training on Guam ensures crews are proficient in skill sets such as command and control, aerial refueling, and weapons loading. Guam-based training also tests skills needed in a contingency, such as turning aircraft quickly. TSgt. Daniel Youman, a quality inspector with the 509th AMS, noted he participated in “hot refueling” a B-2 during training, which involves refueling an aircraft while still running so it can take off again more rapidly.
Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.