Team Whiteman commemorates 30 year anniversary of B-2 test flight

A B-2 Spirit is seen in silhouette from below as it performs a low flyover during the 2019 Wings Over Whiteman Air & Space Show at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, June 15, 2019. The B-2 fleet is operated by the 509th Bomb Wing. During the air show, pyrotechnics simulated notional explosives for spectators on the ground. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel)

A B-2 Spirit performs a low flyover during the 2019 Wings Over Whiteman Air & Space Show at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, June 15, 2019. The B-2 fleet is operated by the 509th Bomb Wing. During the air show, pyrotechnics simulated notional explosives for spectators on the ground. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel)

A B-2 Spirit and 16 other aircraft from the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fly over the USS Kitty Hawk, USS Ronald Reagan and USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike groups in the western Pacific Ocean on Sunday, June 18, to kick off Exercise Valiant Shield 2006. (U.S. Navy photo/Chief Photographer's Mate Todd P. Cichonowicz)

A B-2 Spirit and 16 other aircraft from the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fly over the USS Kitty Hawk, USS Ronald Reagan and USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike groups in the western Pacific Ocean on Sunday, June 18, to kick off Exercise Valiant Shield 2006. (U.S. Navy photo/Chief Photographer's Mate Todd P. Cichonowicz)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Senior Airman Mindy High prepares to launch a B-2 Spirit bomber during a mission here.  The B-2s deployed here Feb. 25 to provide U.S. Pacific Command officials a continuous bomber presence in the Asia-Pacific region, enhancing regional security and the U.S. commitment to the Western Pacific.  Bomber aircraft have had an ongoing presence on the island since February 2004.  Airman High is a crew chief from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Val Gempis)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Senior Airman Mindy High prepares to launch a B-2 Spirit bomber during a mission here. The B-2s deployed here Feb. 25 to provide U.S. Pacific Command officials a continuous bomber presence in the Asia-Pacific region, enhancing regional security and the U.S. commitment to the Western Pacific. Bomber aircraft have had an ongoing presence on the island since February 2004. Airman High is a crew chief from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Val Gempis)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AFPN) -- Senior Airman John Key guards an entry-control point near a B-2 Spirit bomber recently during a Coronet Bugle 49 exercise here.  Airman Key is assigned to the 509th Security Forces Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. He is deployed supporting B-2 operations as part of Air Combat Command's ongoing global power missions. The missions enable aircrews to train for long flights from the United States to overseas locations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tia Schroeder)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AFPN) -- Senior Airman John Key guards an entry-control point near a B-2 Spirit bomber recently during a Coronet Bugle 49 exercise here. Airman Key is assigned to the 509th Security Forces Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. He is deployed supporting B-2 operations as part of Air Combat Command's ongoing global power missions. The missions enable aircrews to train for long flights from the United States to overseas locations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tia Schroeder)

A B-2 Spirit, two F-16 Fighting Falcons and an F-18 Hornet sit on the flightline at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for Exercise Valiant Shield on Thursday, June 22. The exercise, which concludes June 23, focuses on integrated joint training in a variety of mission scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III)

A B-2 Spirit, two F-16 Fighting Falcons and an F-18 Hornet sit on the flightline at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for Exercise Valiant Shield on Thursday, June 22. The exercise, which concludes June 23, focuses on integrated joint training in a variety of mission scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- A B-2 Spirit takes off from the flightline here on a Red Flag training mission, Oct. 23, 2003.  The B-2, a multi-role bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions, brings massive firepower to bear anywhere on the globe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael R. Nixon)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- A B-2 Spirit takes off from the flightline here on a Red Flag training mission, Oct. 23, 2003. The B-2, a multi-role bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions, brings massive firepower to bear anywhere on the globe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael R. Nixon)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- A B-2 Spirit drops 32 inert Joint Direct Attack Munitions Aug. 27 at the Utah Testing and Training Range here.

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- A B-2 Spirit drops 32 inert Joint Direct Attack Munitions Aug. 27 at the Utah Testing and Training Range here.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. - The B-2 Spirit of California takes off on an overcast day while participating in Red Flag Feb. 5. Red Flag is an advanced aerial combat training exercise hosted at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. About 100 Members of Team Whiteman participated in Red Flag for the two-week long, large force exercise that includes more than 85 aircraft from the U.S. and Britain. (Photo by Paul Ridgway)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. - The B-2 Spirit of California takes off on an overcast day while participating in Red Flag Feb. 5. Red Flag is an advanced aerial combat training exercise hosted at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. About 100 Members of Team Whiteman participated in Red Flag for the two-week long, large force exercise that includes more than 85 aircraft from the U.S. and Britain. (Photo by Paul Ridgway)

Photo posted on www.horizontalrain.com. Courtesy Sagar Pathak

Photo posted on www.horizontalrain.com. Courtesy Sagar Pathak

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., - Col. Gregory Champagne, 131st Fighter Wing vice commander, and Maj. David Thompson, 131st FW, achieved a major milestone in their transition to the B-2 mission by completing the first B-2 sortie flown, in the Spirit of Arizona, and launched by Missouri Air National Guard personnel June 18. The 131st BW, currently in transition from the 131st Fighter Wing, is a classic associate unit with the 509th Bomb Wing and the first Air National Guard unit to take part in the B-2 mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jessica Snow)
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WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., - Col. Gregory Champagne, 131st Fighter Wing vice commander, and Maj. David Thompson, 131st FW, achieved a major milestone in their transition to the B-2 mission by completing the first B-2 sortie flown, in the Spirit of Arizona, and launched by Missouri Air National Guard personnel June 18. The 131st BW, currently in transition from the 131st Fighter Wing, is a classic associate unit with the 509th Bomb Wing and the first Air National Guard unit to take part in the B-2 mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jessica Snow)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --

This year, Whiteman AFB commemorates the 30th anniversary of the B-2 Spirit’s inaugural test flight on July 17, 1989, from Palmdale to Edwards AFB, California.

For three decades, B-2 crews have participated in five major military operations and countless training engagements. The bomber has completed missions in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and most recently Libya. The B-2 was also the first aircraft over Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks, for which aircraft and crew hold the record for longest combat mission at 44.3 hours. The stealth bomber has been a vital component of America’s National Defense and stands as a symbol of the Air Force’s global strike capabilities.

“The combination of range, payload, and stealth is really what makes the B-2 unique in all these fights,” said Col. Jeffrey Schreiner, 509th Bomb Wing commander. A command pilot now responsible for the combat readiness of the Air Force’s only B-2 base. “Our adversaries don’t know when a conflict is going to heat up, or when Whiteman is going to be called into the fight.”

B-2 expertise and dedication is shared here at Whiteman AFB following the 2008 total force integration of the 509th Bomb Wing and the 131st Bomb Wing, a Missouri Air National Guard Unit. This shared responsibility includes training, maintenance and combat operations around the globe and is necessary for the success of this program.

“At the heart of the stealth enterprise are the men and women in uniform and civilian experts who work tirelessly to provide an asset of unmatched capability,” Schreiner said. “With their expertise and dedication, the B-2 will remain an invaluable asset to our nation for years to come.”

With its unique flying wing design and advancing avionics systems, the B-2 Spirit is more lethal and innovative today as it was 30 years ago. Our world-class Airmen conduct daily testing and maintenance, long-duration training missions, and readiness exercises to keep the B-2 Spirit operational. The stealth bomber is a vital component of America’s National Defense and stands as a symbol of the Air Force’s Global Strike capabilities, 30 years from its inaugural test flight.

If you would like to know more about the B-2 Spirit or Whiteman AFB, please visit www.whiteman.af.mil or follow us on Facebook. For specific questions, please contact the 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs at (660) 687-5727 or 509bw.public.affairs@us.af.mil.