Aircraft

British F-35Bs Train With US Stealth Bombers For First Time

The B-2s are currently deployed to RAF Fairford.

British F-35Bs have made history by training with US Air Force B-2 stealth bombers for the first time. 

The B-2s took part in the integration flying training with the British jets as part of their deployment to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

The aircraft, from USAF's Bomber Task Force Europe, will conduct a series of training activities while in the continent.

In total three bomber aircraft flew into RAF Fairford in Gloucester from their base in Missouri.

B-2s RAF Fairford BFBS

Part of a deployment to set up a forward operating base in Europe, to train, and prove if needed, they can fight from anywhere in the world.

Lt Col Robert Schoeneberg, Commander, Bomber Task Force, said: "From an operational perspective, this gives us a new location to fight from.

"It allows us to jump to other locations to refuel, practise loading weapons.

"It allows our guys to get used to this airspace and the way we talk to controllers around here and integrate with the Royal Air Force assets like the F-35 as well as our own fighters like the F-15 out of Mildenhall and Lakenheath."

More than 150 US Air Force personnel are deployed to the UK, part of the 501st Combat Support Wing. 

Defence minister Mark Lancaster said: “NATO is the bedrock of Euro-Atlantic defence, and those secure foundations continue to be reinforced by the training exercises being completed between the Royal Air Force and our special friends in the US Air Force.”

The exercise was the first time USAF B-2s trained with non-US F-35s. 

Lieutenant Colonel Rob Schoeneberg, Bomber Task Force Commander, said: "Working alongside international fifth-generation aircraft provides unique training opportunities for us, bolsters our integration capabilities, and showcases the commitment we have to our NATO alliance.”

RAF Fairford routinely hosts deployments and exercises by US strategic aircraft.