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US deploys three B-2 stealth bombers to remote San Diego Garcia island

A B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber arrives at Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia, Aug. 12, 2020.
B-2 at Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia. Photo: US Air Force

The US Air Force has deployed three B-2 Spirit stealth bombers from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri to Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia located at the identically named island in the central Indian Ocean.

The bombers deployed there on August 11 with the aim of support bomber task force missions, the air force said.

“We are excited to return to this important location. [Diego Garcia] puts the “INDO” in INDOPACOM,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Conant, BTF commander. “This bomber task force is our National Defense Strategy in action. We are sharpening our lethality while strengthening relationships with key allies, partners, and our sister-service teammates.”

The last B-2 bomber task force deployed to INDOPACOM was in January 2019 from the 393rd Bomb Squadron from Whiteman AFB. Three B-2 Spirits and approximately 200 Airmen deployed to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

During that BTF deployment, the B-2s flew 27 sorties for a total of 171 hours in multiple local and long-duration missions, conducted hot-pit refueling training and accomplished eight integrated sorties with the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 199th Fighter Squadron F-22 Raptors.

The latest deployment also comes after six B-52H bombers flew to Diego Garcia in January this year from where they would be able to faster respond in wake of tensions with Iran.