Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Operations & Commitments), the Royal Air Force’s Air Vice-Marshal Allan Marshall, has joined the United States Air Force crew of a B-2 Spirit Bomber for a familiarisation flight at Whiteman Airforce Base, Missouri.
The flight was part of a visit that AVM Marshall is conducting to gain a better understanding of the role of US Strategic Command and the B-2 stealth bomber’s capabilities to penetrate an adversary’s most sophisticated defences.
During the visit the AVM was hosted by Colonel Keith Butler USAF, the 509th Bomb Wing commander.
AVM Marshall said: “It was a privilege to experience, first hand, the impressive capability of the B-2 Bomber and to meet the highly professional US personnel who ensure the readiness of the aircraft and wider Global Strike Command. The visit provided an opportunity to increase my understanding of how the B-2 and other USAF Global Strike Command capabilities fulfil the US Strategic Command Mission, and to reinforce the links between US Strategic Command and the Ministry of Defence.”
During the visit the AVM also had the opportunity to meet Major General Jason Armagost USAF, the commander of the USAF 8th Air Force. The famous 8th Air Force was originally formed as the United States Army Air Force 8th Air Force during World War Two.
It was then based in the UK to conduct the strategic daylight bombing campaign of Germany, while the RAF’s Bomber Command was carrying out the night-time element of this round the clock operation.
Col Butler said: “It was an honour for Team Whiteman to host AVM Marshall and demonstrate the capabilities of the world’s premiere stealth bomber. The UK and the RAF have been important strategic partners and staunch allies of the US for many years, even hosting Bomber Task Force Missions in the past. This visit strengthens our partnership and furthers our mutual goal of strategic deterrence.”