Whiteman AFB B-2 aircraft will not be participating in the 2023 Rose Parade or Rose Bowl Game flyovers. Instead, B-1 Lancer bombers from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, will carry on the tradition.
At the direction of the Air Force Global Strike Commander, Whiteman AFB will have a safety pause of B-2 flights in order to inspect the fleet following an incident Dec. 10, 2022, in which a B-2 Spirit was damaged on the runway at Whiteman AFB after successfully completing an emergency landing.
As already reported the emergency landing took place while the bomber was involved in routine operations.
An in-flight malfunction prompted the landing, which caused damage to the runway.
Following the landing, a fire broke out. A base spokesperson confirmed it was extinguished by Whiteman’s fire department.
No injuries were reported, per the spokesperson.
Investigation into the incident is ongoing.
According to a NOTAM, or “Notice to Airmen,” published on Dec. 10 at 2300 hrs, the base’s sole runway 01/19 was closed from that time the NOTAM was published till Dec. 16, 2359 hrs.
“Our number one concern is the safety and security of our personnel and fleet. We deeply regret having to make this decision so close to the event, but we are committed to returning to Pasadena in 2024,” said US Air Force Col. Daniel Diehl, 509th Bomb Wing commander, said in a 509th Bomb Wing news release. “Although we are not participating in this flyover, we remain steadfast in our commitment to answer our nation’s call.”
According to Alert 5, the Rose Parade, also known as the Tournament of Roses Parade, is an annual parade held in Pasadena, California, on New Year’s Day. The parade features floats decorated with flowers, marching bands, and equestrian units, and is televised nationally. It is followed by the Rose Bowl, a college football game played at the Rose Bowl Stadium.
The Rose Bowl is one of the oldest bowl games in American college football and is often referred to as “The Granddaddy of Them All.” It is the oldest bowl game that is still played on its original site and is a tradition that dates back to 1902. The Rose Bowl is a major college football event and is typically one of the most highly anticipated and watched games of the season.
The B-1B Lancer is a critical component of our Air Force’s strategic bomber fleet. Like the B-2, the B-1 has a rich history and will represent Striker nation well, carrying on the bomber tradition at the Tournament of Roses.
Photo credit: U.S. Space Force image by Van Ha