Two more B-2 Spirits arrived in Australia on July 12 in support of a bomber task force mission as U.S. Airmen trained alongside personnel from the Royal Australian Air Force.
The new bombers join two others that arrived July 10 at RAAF Base Amberley. All four B-2s are from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The bombers’ deployment will help support the Enhanced Cooperation Initiative under the Force Posture Agreement first signed more than a decade ago by the U.S. and Australia.
“Training and operating with our Australian partners has been an absolute blast,” Lt. Col. Andrew Kousgaard, commander of 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, said in a statement. “Since our advance team hit the ground over a week ago, U.S. Airmen have integrated with their Australian counterparts in every specialty: fuels, logistics, maintenance, aviators, you name it.”
Airmen from the 131st Bomb Wing, the Missouri Air National Guard’s associate unit of the 509th Bomb Wing, are also in Australia.
While the bombers and Airmen are in the Indo-Pacific, they plan to conduct training for “hot” refueling with Australian equipment as well as aerial refueling with RAAF KC-30s, Kousgaard said in a release.
“We simply cannot operate effectively by ourselves in this environment, and learning to effectively integrate with our partners is absolutely critical to success,” Kousgaard said. “We’re training against that ‘tyranny of distance,’ alongside our Australian partners on this deployment, and that experience is truly invaluable.”
B-2s previously flew over Australia in 2020 as part of training during a deployment to Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia. This past June, B-1B Lancers that deployed to Guam conducted hot pit refueling operations with the RAAF.