B-2s fly nonstop from US to Korea for exercise mission
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — A pair of Air Force B-2 stealth bombers flew a mission from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., to South Korea on Thursday as part of the annual Foal Eagle joint exercise, making the long round trip without stopping.
“This mission by two B-2 Spirit bombers assigned to 509th Bomb Wing, which demonstrates the United States’ ability to conduct long-range, precision strikes quickly and at will, involved flying more than 6,500 miles to the Korean Peninsula, dropping inert munitions on the Jik Do Range, and returning to the continental U.S. in a single, continuous mission,” according to a U.S. Forces Korea statement.
The B-2 is a nuclear-capable intercontinental bomber that can fly long non-stop missions by using in-flight refueling.
At least one of the two B-2s was seen flying with an F-16 escort over Osan Air Base on Thursday.
“The United States is steadfast in its alliance commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea, to deterring aggression, and to ensuring peace and stability in the region. The B-2 bomber is an important element of America’s enduring and robust extended deterrence capability in the Asia-Pacific,” USFK said.
American B-52s and a nuclear attack submarine earlier were brought in for the annual U.S.-South Korean exercise this month.