First B-2 Combat Aviator Retires

Col. Eric Single, who in 1999 led the first-ever combat mission of the B-2 stealth bomber, has retired from the Air Force after 29 years of service. As commander of the 393rd Bomb Squadron at Whiteman AFB, Mo., then-Lt. Col. Single took off with his co-pilot in the Spirit of Mississippi on March 23, 1999, to lead a two-ship B-2 strike package against military targets in Yugoslavia on the opening night of NATO’s Operation Allied Force. Each bomber delivered 16 joint direct attack munitions precisely on target before heading back to Whiteman, completing the historic mission in just over 31 hours. Single retired Monday as chief of the global strike division in the Air Force Secretariat. (Whiteman report by SrA. Torey Griffith) (For more on the B-2’s combat debut, read With Stealth in the Balkans from the Air Force Magazine archives.)