Military Aviation

Impressive video shows 509th Bomb Wing and 131st Bomb Wing performing mass fly-off of 12 B-2 Spirit bombers

Mass fly-off of 12 B-2 stealth bombers

Filmed on Apr. 15, 2024 15 at Whiteman Air Force Base (AFB), Missouri, the impressive video in this post featuring the 509th Bomb Wing and 131st Bomb Wing capping off the most recent iteration of exercise Spirit Vigilance by performing a mass fly-off of 12 B-2 Spirit stealth bombers.

Spirit Vigilance is one of a series of routine exercises held by Air Force Global Strike Command bases across the enterprise that focus on the training and readiness of Airmen. These exercises are regularly planned and are conducted to continuously evaluate and enhance US deterrence capabilities.

“I’m proud of the dedication shown by our Airmen and civilians in ensuring the success of this exercise,” said Col. Keith Butler, 509th Bomb Wing commander, to Phill Stuart, 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs, for the article Team Whiteman demonstrates readiness during Spirit Vigilance. “Exercises are both critical to our readiness and a powerful tool to demonstrate to the world that the B-2 is a credible and reliable strategic deterrent.”

The Spirit

For three decades, the B-2 Spirit, built by Northrop Grumman, has been the backbone of stealth technology for the US Air Force.

The B-2 provides the penetrating flexibility and effectiveness inherent in manned bombers. Its capability to penetrate air defenses and threaten effective retaliation provides a strong, effective deterrent and combat force well into the 21st century.

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The revolutionary blending of low-observable technologies with high aerodynamic efficiency and large payload gives the B-2 important advantages over existing bombers.

The US Air Force continues to fly B-2s today as a center point of the nation’s stealth bomber fleet. Currently, the B-2 is the only long-range penetrating stealth bomber in the US arsenal protecting our service members, nation and global allies. The unique combination of nuclear and conventional capabilities, along with its stealth, long-range strike, heavy payload and precision weapons makes the B-2 an ultimate deterrent.

Visual displays of power can serve as a reminder to potential adversaries of the overwhelming air power that the B-2 can bring to bear.

Great Power Competition

“As the world’s most strategic aircraft, the B-2 has an outsized effect on Great Power Competition,” said Col. Geoffrey Steeves, 509th Operations Group commander. “The 509th and 131st Bomb Wings are charged with delivering the nation’s most powerful weapons, and the B-2 is the only aircraft on the planet that combines stealth, payload, and long-range strike.

As the Air Force shifts its focus toward Great Power Competition, the mission at Whiteman AFB plays a vital role in the nation’s defense strategy.

“The B-2 stealth bomber has never been more relevant than it is right now,” Steeves said. “It was conceived at the height of the Cold War but fielded at the same time the Berlin Wall crumbled and Soviet Union collapsed. Now, more than 30 years later, the B-2 is fulfilling the role for which it was created: great power competition.”

Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Hailey Farrell / U.S. Air Force

Video: Senior Airman Bryson Britt / U.S. Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

View Comments

  • Only thing prettier than one B-2 launch is
    many B-2s launching!
    When the crews first scrambled to their vehicles it looked kinda like they were gonna have some fender-benders before they ever reached the aircraft….

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