USAF deploys B-2 Spirit bombers to support ISIS-combat mission in Libya


The US Air Force (USAF) has deployed two B-2 Spirit bombers based at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, to Libya, in support of Operation Odyssey Lightning.

The Northrop Grumman-built aircraft have attacked two ISIS camps in Libya, as part of the mission that lasted for more than 30 hours.

13th Bomb Squadron B-2 flight lead captain Nathan Mueller said: “The dynamic targeting and inherent integration that took place en route to Libya is not something that B-2 pilots train for on a regular basis.”

The ISIS combat mission required total force integration and graduates of the 57th Wing’s USAF weapons school.

USAF weapons school commandant colonel Michael Drowley said: “There was a deliberate effort to fill all of the (B-2 strike) seats with weapons officers because of the niche skill set we train to on our (special operations force integration) ride.”

The USAF weapons school offers 26 weapons instructor courses that employ a building-block approach to producing weapons officers who are not only doctorate-level experts in a platform or speciality but also trailblazers in total force and joint integration planning and execution, the USAF stated.

"The dynamic targeting and inherent integration that took place en route to Libya is not something that B-2 pilots train for on a regular basis."

The course also includes weapons school integration phase, a series of complex missions enacted in a highly contested operational environment.

Prior to the Libya mission, Mueller flew an offensive counter-air mission as a student in December last year.

The B-2 Spirit is a multi-role bomber that is capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions.


Image: Two B-2 Sprit stealth bombers assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing taxi down the runway. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo / Airman 1st Class Kevin Tanenbaum.