US deploys stealth B-2 bombers in Europe (VIDEO)
The US Air Force has sent more of its bombers to Europe, deploying two B-2 stealth aircraft as part of a military exercise. On Sunday they joined three B-52 StratoFortress bombers already deployed in Britain.
All the visiting American aircraft are stationed at RAF Fairford, a British air base west of London.
“This deployment of strategic bombers provides an invaluable opportunity to strengthen and improve interoperability with our allies and partners,” said Adm. Cecil Haney, commander, US Strategic Command in a USAF statement. “
— RT (@RT_com) June 9, 2014
The B-2 bombers are assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing out of Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. They will conduct training flights in the US European Command area of operations, the statement said, offering no further details on the mission.
The US has been sending additional troops to Europe lately in a gesture meant to reassure its NATO partners, especially those in Eastern Europe, that Washington is committed to defending them militarily. NATO says the deployments are needed for a possible aggression from Russia amid the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine.
Moscow is criticizing the buildup of NATO forces close to Russia's borders, calling them provocative and warning that the US is using the Ukrainian events as a pretext to flex its muscles.
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is a multipurpose stealth bomber first used by the US during the 1999 war in Kosovo. It was designed primarily to deliver nuclear weapons, but has been used extensively as a conventional bomber in all major US military campaigns from Afghanistan to Libya.