Home Air In a first: Dutch F-35As integrate with US Air Force B-2 bombers

In a first: Dutch F-35As integrate with US Air Force B-2 bombers

B-2A with F-35
A B-2A Spirit bomber, Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35A and US F-15C Eagle in aerial operations on March 18. Photo: US Air Force

Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35A stealth fighters integrated with two US Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bomber aircraft over the North Sea on March 18.

The familiarization flight with aircraft from the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, and the 131st Bomb Wing, Missouri Air National Guard, was a premiere for the Dutch F-35s.

“Conducting interoperability missions between the B-2 and fifth generation platforms are crucial to enhancing partnership capacity and capability,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander. “It demonstrates our ability to deliver decisive, agile and lethal combat power, alongside our NATO Allies to any adversary, anytime, across the globe.”

Previously, the bombers also conducted tactical integration training with Royal Air Force F-35s and Norwegian F-35s. This is the first time that B-2s have integrated with Norwegian and Dutch F-35s.

B-2s also conducted an Icelandic Air Policing mission earlier this month, while operating out of RAF Fairford, UK.

Airmen from the 509th Bomb Wing are deployed to RAF Fairford, UK, to conduct training in a joint environment with partners and allies during this bomber task force rotation which began on March 9.