More than 150 aviators and three B-2 Spirit strategic bombers landed at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland on August 13, 2023.
The aircraft belonged to the 393rd Bomb Squadron, 509th Bomb Wing of the United States Air Force, housed at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.
The B-2 Spirit deployment was conducted in the framework of Bomber Task Force 2023, a regular strategic operation functioning as both a deterrent and a source of diplomatic reassurance alongside NATO allies and partners.
“Each bomber task force mission underscores the prowess of our armed forces in navigating today’s intricate and unpredictable global security terrain, with a focus on fostering stability, security, and freedom across Europe,” emphasized General James Hecker, commander of US Air Forces in Europe, US Air Forces Africa, and NATO Allied Command in a press release.
The B-2 Spirit’s return to Europe follows a period of temporary suspension due to a safety pause earlier in the year.
On December 10, 2022, a stealth bomber requested an emergency landing at Whiteman Air Force Base after experiencing an in-flight malfunction. The aircraft caught fire and suffered damage, the 509th Bomb Wing public affairs wrote in a statement to AeroTime at the time. The USAF ordered the grounding of the B-2 Spirit strategic bomber fleet pending a safety review.
The Northrop Grumman B-2 is one of three strategic bombers operated by the United States Air Force, along with the supersonic Rockwell B-1 Lancer and the venerable Boeing B-52 Stratofortress.