The 13th Bomb Squadron is a squadron of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to the 509th Operations Group, Air Force Global Strike Command, stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The squadron is equipped with the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber.
The 13th is one of the oldest units in the United States Air Force, first being organized as the 13th Aero Squadron' on 14 June 1917 at Camp Kelly (later Kelly Field), Texas. The squadron deployed to France and fought on the Western Front during World War I as a pursuit squadron. The unit was demobilized after the war in 1919. On 16 October 1936, the squadron was consolidated with the 104th Aero Squadron, another AEF combat squadron on the Western Front, which was organized on 25 August 1917.
Reorganized in 1921 as part of the permanent United States Army Air Service, the squadron became part of Fifth Air Force in the Pacific Theater of Operations of World War II flying North American B-25 Mitchell medium bombers. During the Cold War, it fought in the Korean War and Vietnam War as a Martin B-57 Canberra tactical bomber squadron.
|13th Bomb Squadron|
B-2 Spirit of the 509th Operations Group
1917–1924; 1928–1929; 1929–1968; 1969–1973; 2003–present
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Force Global Strike Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri|
|Nickname(s)||The Devil's Own Grim Reapers|
|Motto(s)||Fear the Reaper|
|Colors||Red and black|
|Lieutenant Colonel Rob Makros|
|Captain Charles Biddle|
Lieutenant Colonel Rob Fortney
Lieutenant Colonel Robert McCormick
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Bussiere
13th Bombardment Squadron emblem (approved 14 February 1924)
13th Aero Squadron emblem (approved by AEF 18 November 1918)
104th Aero Squadron emblem (approved by AEF 18 November 1918)
The 13th Aero Squadron was formed at Camp Kelly (later Kelly Field), Texas, on 14 June 1917.
The "Devil’s Own Grim Reapers" as they came to be known was a Pursuit (Fighter) squadron on the Western Front in France during 1918, flying the French SPAD S.XIII. The 13th claimed several "aces" from this period of its history: Charles J Biddle, Murray K Guthrie, Frank K Hays, John J Seerly, and William H Stovall. Major Carl Spaatz was attached to the unit at his request, and had two victories. He would rise to four-star rank during WW II. The Unit's first combat loss was Lt. George Kull on 14 September 1918 during the St. Mihiel Offensive. There would be others to follow: During the Meuse Argonne Offensive, the squadron lost Lts. Gerald D. Stivers, Henry Guion Armstrong, Clarence A. Brodie and Robert H. Stiles killed in action. It returned to the United States in March 1919 when it was demobilized. It remained inactive until it was reconstituted in 1936.
The 104th Aero Squadron was organized on 25 August 1917, also at Kelly Field. As a Corps Observation (Reconnaissance) Squadron flying the French Salmson 2A2 observation aircraft, the 104th flew reconnaissance, directed Allied artillery fire and pinpointed troop movements on the Western Front. The demand for artillery fire adjustments through aerial observation was constant in spite of difficulties encountered in air-to-ground communications. It was largely due to the photos made by aerial reconnaissance that the Allied infantry knew where it was advancing. It returned to the United States in April 1919 and became part of the permanent United States Army Air Service in 1921.
After its arrival at Roosevelt Field, Long Island, most of the 104th Aero Squadron's men returned to civilian life. In May 1919, the squadron moved to neighboring Mitchel Field; the squadron was down to one officer and one enlisted man and was administratively carried by the Air Service as an active unit.
About 15 May, the 104th moved to Fort Bliss, Texas, and during June to Kelly Field, Texas, still manned in name only. On 25 May 1919 it was redesignated as the 104th Surveillance Squadron, and assigned to the Army Surveillance Group on 1 July along with the 8th, 12th and 90th Aero Squadrons. During August 1919, nearly 200 men from Mitchel Field were moved to Kelly Field to bring the squadron up to strength. The 104th quickly adapted to peacetime soldiering in the nation's infant air organization It was also equipped with new Dayton-Wright DH-4 aircraft, surplus from the World War.
The mission of the Army Surveillance Group was to carry out observation overflights along the Mexican Border. During this period, Mexico was enduring a period of revolution and unrest, which led to border violations and the deaths of American citizens. After being manned and equipped, in November 1919 the squadron split into three flights: Headquarters Flight and Flight A went to Fort Bliss, Texas, while Flight B deployed to Marfa Field, Texas. From 10 September to 4 November, Flight B was located at Post Field, Oklahoma, but it returned to Marfa Field on 17 November 1920, and remained there until June 1921 flying observation flights along the Big Bend area of the Texas/Mexico border.
On 14 March 1921 with the establishment of the permanent Army Air Service, the 104th Surveillance Squadron was redesignated as the 13th Squadron (Attack). In May the border patrol flights were ended and all of the flights were ordered to participate in maneuvers at Langley Field, Virginia. On 2 July the squadron reassembled at Kelly Field and on 25 January 1923 the squadron was redesignated the 13th Attack Squadron.
The new mission of the squadron was to conduct a series of suitability tests of new types of aircraft. Initially tested was the Dayton-Wright XB-1A, an observation plane to be used for photography, bombardment and liaison work.
The next aircraft was the GAX (Boeing GA-1), a ground attack triplane. These tests were conducted to determine the capability of aircraft under hard service incurred during long cross-country flights. All squadron officers and enlisted personnel attended classes to learn everything they could about the aircraft.
In 1923, the 13th Attack Squadron returned to the Dayton-Wright DH-4 and performed aerial demonstrations, formation flying, and normal training. Due to funding reductions, the squadron was inactivated on 27 June 1924.
After its inactivation from the active forces, the 13th was designated an Regualar Army Inactive squadron, and partially manned with reserve officers. Remaining as the 13th Attack Squadron, it was allotted to the Eighth Corps Area on 28 February 1927. Organized about May 1928 with Organized Reserve personnel. Conducted summer training at Fort Crockett, with units of the 3d Attack Group.
Returned to active status on 1 November 1929, the 13th Attack Squadron again joined the 3d Attack Group at Langley Field, Virginia. Two weeks later the squadron moved to Fort Crockett, Texas. From 1929 to 1934, the squadron flew the Curtiss A-3 aircraft, and then converted to newer Curtiss A-12 Shrikes. In February 1935, the 13th moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana. On 16 October 1936, the War Department reconstituted the World War I 13th Aero Squadron and consolidated it with the 13th Attack Squadron, forming a single squadron with two separate origins, thus perpetuating the history and traditions of both. The 13th Attack Squadron designation was retained for the consolidated unit.
Also in 1936, the squadron received the Northrop A-17 ground attack aircraft. It continued flying A-17s through 1939. On 15 September 1939 the squadron became the 13th Bombardment Squadron (Light), while its parent became the 3d Bombardment Group (Light). Douglas B-18 Bolo medium bombers were gained about this same time, but some Martin B-12s were also flown in the 1939-1941 period as the 13th developed into a proficient bombardment squadron. The 3d Bomb Group moved to Savannah Army Airfield, Georgia in October 1940, and in 1941 they received Douglas A-20A Havoc ground attack aircraft to replace their obsolescent B-18s and B-12s.
"When war came to the nation in December 1941, the Reapers embarked on an accelerated training program while also engaged in anti-submarine patrols against German U-boats along the Atlantic coast. Because every ranking and experienced man from the unit was pulled and assigned overseas to train other units, the Reapers were left without personnel and planes. When the unit arrived in Australia in January 1942, they were still without airplanes. While waiting for aircraft, the Reapers learned there were 24 brand new North American B-25 Mitchells sitting on the ramp in nearby Melbourne, but the planes were earmarked for the Dutch. Soon after, 24 Reaper pilots arrived in Melbourne, presented a confused Officer of the Day with an authorization letter, and nonchalantly flew away with the airplanes before anyone realized the mistake. The Reapers used those planes, and later A-20s, to attack bridges, transports, airfields, troop installations, seaplanes, docks, warehouses and enemy targets. At the end of the war, the squadron had earned four Distinguished Unit Citations for actions over the Philippine Island[s], Papua and New Guinea, and also took home the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.
"From the end of World War II to 1950, the [13th] remained in Japan as part of the Army of Occupation.
"When North Korea invaded the south in 1950, the squadron, [f]lying . . . Douglas B-26 Invaders, conducted interdiction missions during daylight raids on enemy troops and lines. On 25 June 1951, the squadron was redesignated the 13th Bombardment Squadron[,] Light-Night Intruder to reflect the unit’s "Hoot Owl" night missions. Following the end of the Korean War, the 13th remained forward deployed to Kunsan Air Base, Korea until ordered to Johnson Air Base, Japan, in 1954 to begin conversion to the Martin B-57 Canberra. On 1 October 1955, the unit was redesigned the 13th Bombardment Squadron Tactical."
"The unit’s next move was to Clark Air Base, Philippines, on 10 April 1964. During the Vietnam War the Reapers took part in numerous campaigns flying the Canberra, a light twin engine jet bomber, and with the upgraded B-57G model was one of the first units to fly with a targeting pod, which was used to release some of the first ever laser guided munitions. Deployed to Tan Son Nhut Air Base, South Vietnam, by June 1964, the squadron had flown 119 combat sorties. In February 1965, an enemy attack destroyed six 13 BS B-57s at Bien Hoa Air Base and rendered the airfield unusable. Flying from Da Nang Air Base and Phan Rang Air Base, Vietnam, the unit continued to fly combat sorties until 1968. The 13th BS was then inactivated."
"The squadron remained on the shelf until 8 February 1969, when it was activated at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., where the mission of the 13th trained members on B-57G tactics, techniques, and state of the art computer systems. On 15 September 1970, the 13th deployed to Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, and on 17 October 1970, flew its first combat mission in the B-57G. The squadron flew combat missions until 12 April 1972, when personnel and equipment moved to Forbes Air Force Base, Kansas, as the squadron was reduced to paper status. The 13th was again inactivated on 30 September 1973."
"On 14 June 2000 after more than 26 years in hibernation, the Grim Reapers returned to the active Air Force as part of the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Shortly after 11 September 2001, the Reapers deployed with the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron and performed notably in Operation Anaconda to Afghanistan in early 2002. Upon returning the Reapers were named the 7th Bomb Wing’s executive agent for support of the Rockwell B-1 Lancer [t]est program. Additionally, the Reapers were responsible for supporting the B-1 Weapons Instructor Course. This relationship put the 13th in the enviable position of being the first in the operational bomber community to train on the latest upgrades . . ."
"The Reapers were deployed in early 2003 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Upon returning from Guam, the 13th BS was charged with devising and running the first Iron Thunder, an audacious plan calling for the scheduling of 120 missions over three days with the stated objective of the execution of 75 sorties flying 90%, or 108 sorties. The crews began flying sorties on 7 October 2003 and continued round the clock until late on 9 October. Starting in the fall of 2003, the B-1 fleet initiated a transformation with major computer and software upgrades and the Reapers were at the forefront. The 13th BS was the first operational unit assigned to fly Block E B-1s, a revolutionary upgrade which allowed a mixed load of GPS guided and unguided weapons, as well as a new air-to-air radar capability to increase the combatant commander’s options and flexibility. As the initial cadre, the Reapers were responsible for training the core of the wing’s bomber crews."
"The 13th Bomb Squadron was deployed in early 2004, again flying missions over Afghanistan. Upon returning, the squadron was tasked with leading Iron Thunder 04-4 with the goal of delivering massive concentrated firepower in another bomber surge, which carefully integrated limited range space, jet availability, and realistic threat and target scenarios. The plan resulted in 77 effective sorties in less than 68 hours. More astounding was the fact that 47 of the sorties released a record 383 training weapons. In December 2004, for the fourth time in less than four years, the B-1s answered the call to war with all Reaper crew members and most enlisted support staff deployed as members of the 40th Air Expeditionary Group."
"In June 2005, the Air Force announced the 13th Bomb Squadron would replace the 325th Bomb Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, and fly a new aircraft, the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit bomber. On 23 September 2005, the 13th Bomb Squadron passed the flag and time honored traditions of the unit to future Reapers at Whiteman AFB. Among its first assignments as a unit of the only stealth bomber wing in the United States Air Force, the 13th Bomb Squadron was deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, in June 2006, to take part in the ongoing rotation which provides the U.S. Pacific Command a continuous bomber presence necessary to maintain stability and security for the Asia-Pacific region. Notable squadron achievements during this period was the firstever B-2 deployment on the continent of Australia. The historic event took place 25–27 July 2006 and featured training sorties on Australia’s Delamere Air Weapons Range and a B-2 Engine Running Crew Change at RAAF Base Darwin – the first time the B-2 landed on Australian soil."
The 104th Aero Squadron was a Air Service, United States Army unit that fought on the Western Front during World War I.
The squadron was assigned as a Corps Observation Squadron, performing short-range, tactical reconnaissance over the V Corps, United States First Army sector of the Western Front in France, providing battlefield intelligence. After the 1918 Armistice with Germany, the squadron returned to the United States in June 1919 and became part of the permanent United States Army Air Service in 1921, when it was redesignated as the 13th Squadron (Attack) .The current United States Air Force unit which continues its lineage and history is the 13th Bomb Squadron, assigned to the 509th Operations Group at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.13th Aero Squadron
The 13th Aero Squadron was a Air Service, United States Army unit that fought on the Western Front during World War I.
The squadron was assigned as a Day Pursuit (Fighter) Squadron as part of the 2d Pursuit Group, First United States Army. Its mission was to engage and clear enemy aircraft from the skies and provide escort to reconnaissance and bombardment squadrons over enemy territory. It also attacked enemy observation balloons, and perform close air support and tactical bombing attacks of enemy forces along the front lines. After the 1918 Armistice with Germany, the squadron returned to the United States in March 1919 and demobilized.On 16 October 1936 the squadron was re-constituted, and consolidated with the United States Army Air Corps 13th Attack Squadron. Today, the current United States Air Force unit which holds its lineage and history is the 13th Bomb Squadron, assigned to the 509th Operations Group, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.13th Fighter Squadron (disambiguation)
The 13th Fighter Squadron is an active United States Air Force Unit, originally constituted as the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron in May 1966. It has held its present designation since May 1991.
13th Fighter Squadron may also refer to the following United States Air Force units:
The 13th Bomb Squadron, organized as the 13th Aero Squadron in June 1917, and designated 13th Fighter Squadron from July to September 1973.
The 13th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, constituted as the 13th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) and designated the 13th Fighter Squadron from May 1942 to May 1944.394th Combat Training Squadron
The 394th Combat Training Squadron was a United States Air Force unit assigned to the 509th Operations Group until inactivated on 13 April 2018. It was stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The mission of the squadron was to train Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit aircrews, a mission now executed by the 13th Bomb Squadron. The 394th is the fourth oldest squadron in the United States Air Force. Its history dated to 5 May 1917 as the 4th Aero Squadron.
The 394th Combat Training Squadron provided the 509th Bomb Wing with qualified, mission-ready B-2 and Northrop T-38 Talon pilots to support worldwide Joint Chiefs of Staff taskings until its inactivation in 2018. The 394th was also responsible for implementing all B-2 and T-38 formal training courses. The unit supervised and oversaw all T-38 operations and performed quality assurance for all maintenance and aircrew training devices, including weapon system trainers. Upon the 394th Combat Training Squadron's inactivation in 2018, its mission and responsibilities were transferred to the 13th Bomb Squadron.405th Air Expeditionary Wing
The 405th Air Expeditionary Wing (405 AEW) is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to Air Combat Command. It may be activated or inactivated at any time.
Currently, it is believed that the 405 AEW is inactive.509th Bomb Wing
The 509th Bomb Wing (509 BW) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Force Global Strike Command, Eighth Air Force. It is stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.
The 509 BW is the host unit at Whiteman, and operates the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. The wing can launch combat sorties directly from Missouri to any spot on the globe, engaging adversaries with large payloads of traditional or precision-guided munitions.
The wing's 509th Operations Group is a direct descendant organization of the World War II 509th Composite Group (509th CG). The 509th CG had a single mission: to drop the atomic bomb. The group made history on 6 August 1945, when the B-29 Superfortress "Enola Gay," piloted by Col. Paul W. Tibbets Jr., dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The B-29 "Bockscar," piloted by Maj. Charles Sweeney, flew over the Japanese mainland on 9 August 1945 and dropped the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki.
The 509th Bomb Wing moved its people and equipment to Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire in August 1958. There, the wing continued to function as an integral part of Strategic Air Command (SAC). By 1965, its B-47s were scheduled for retirement. Unfortunately, this retirement also included the 509th. Fate intervened, however, as SAC decided to keep the 509th alive and equipped it with B-52s and KC-135s. Thus, the wing received its first B-52 and KC-135 in March 1966. The wing's association with the B-52 included two major deployments to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam as part of the now famous Arc Light missions of the Vietnam War. In April 1968 and again in April 1969, the wing began six-month ventures in the Western Pacific. During the last deployment, SAC informed the 509th that the wing would swap its B-52s for FB-111As. Accordingly, the wing began receiving the formidable fighter-bomber in December 1970.
Over the next two decades, little changed for the 509th BW as it became SAC's fighter-bomber experts. However, a 1988 decision by the Department of Defense to close Pease created major changes for the famous 509th. Headquarters SAC decreed that the 509th would not inactivate but would transfer to Whiteman Air Force Base to become the first B-2 stealth bomber unit. As such, the wing moved to Whiteman on September 30, 1990, without people or equipment.
The current 509th BW also led the way for America's first military response following the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. on 11 September 2001. B-2 bombers were the first U.S. aircraft to enter Afghan airspace in October 2001, paving the way for other coalition aircraft to engage Taliban and Al Qaeda forces. During this operation, the aircraft flew roundtrip from Missouri, logging combat missions in excess of 40 hours—the longest on record.509th Operations Group
The 509th Operations Group (509 OG) is the flying component of the United States Air Force 509th Bomb Wing (509 BW), assigned to Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. It is equipped with all 20 of the USAF's B-2 Spirit stealth bombers. Its 13 BS also uses T-38 Talon trainers.
The 509 OG traces its history to the World War II 509th Composite Group (509 CG), which conducted the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in August 1945.
Redesignated the 509th Bombardment Group, Very Heavy in 1946, the group was one of the original ten bombardment groups of Strategic Air Command. The unit was also the host organization at Roswell Army Airfield, New Mexico in July 1947 during the alleged Roswell UFO Incident.
The 509th Bombardment Group was deactivated in 1952. In 1993, the unit was reactivated as the 509 OG, as part of the Objective Wing organization implementation of the 509th Bomb Wing.7th Bomb Wing
The 7th Bomb Wing (7 BW) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Global Strike Command Eighth Air Force. It is stationed at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, where it is also the host unit.
The 7 BW is one of only two B-1B Lancer strategic bombardment wings in the United States Air Force, the other being the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.
Its origins date to the 1918 establishment of the 1st Army Observation Group (later 7th Bombardment Group), one of the 15 original combat air groups formed by the United States Army before World War II.
The 7th Operations Group carries the lineage and history of its highly decorated World War II predecessor unit. It operated initially in the Philippines as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber unit assigned to Fifth Air Force but after the fall of the Philippines in early 1942, operated primarily with the Tenth Air Force in India as a B-24 Liberator unit. Active for over 60 years, the 7 BW was a component wing of Strategic Air Command's heavy bomber deterrent force throughout the Cold War.
The 7th Bomb Wing is commanded by Colonel Brandon Parker. Its Vice Commander is Colonel David Doss. Its Command Chief is Chief Master Sergeant Raymond "Kenny" Mott.8th Fighter Wing
The United States Air Force 8th Fighter Wing is the host unit at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea and is assigned to Seventh Air Force. Seventh Air Force falls under Pacific Air Forces (PACAF). The Wing's 8th Operations Group is the successor of the 8th Pursuit Group, one of the 15 original combat air groups formed by the Army before World War II.
Established in Japan after World War II in 1948, the wing flew combat missions throughout the Korean War. Redesignated the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing in 1958, it remained in Japan until 1964. After a year in California, it moved to Southeast Asia, where its F-4 Phantom II crews earned the nicknames "MiG killers" and "bridge busters". In 1974 the wing relocated to Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, where it was redesignated the 8th Fighter Wing in 1992.Air Force Global Strike Command
Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) is a Major Command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force, headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. AFGSC provides combat-ready forces to conduct strategic nuclear deterrence and global strike operations in support of combatant commanders. It is subordinated to the USSTRATCOM.
Air Force Global Strike Command is the direct descendant unit of the Cold War-era Strategic Air Command (SAC). It holds the lineage, history and honors of SAC.Beirne Lay Jr.
Beirne Lay Jr., (September 1, 1909 – May 26, 1982) was an American author, aviation writer, Hollywood screenwriter, and combat veteran of World War II with the U.S. Army Air Forces. He is best known for his collaboration with Sy Bartlett in authoring the novel Twelve O'Clock High and adapting it into a major film.Bob Neighbors
Robert Otis Neighbors (November 9, 1917 – presumed dead August 8, 1952) was a professional baseball player who appeared briefly with Major League Baseball's St. Louis Browns in 1939. He later served as a pilot in the Korean War and was shot down in 1952, making him the most recent major leaguer to be killed in battle.John A. Powers
John Anthony Powers (August 22, 1922 – December 31, 1979), better known as Shorty Powers, was an American public affairs officer for NASA from 1959 to 1963 during Project Mercury. A U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and war veteran, he was known as the "voice of the astronauts," the "voice of Mercury Control," and the "eighth astronaut." He received his nickname for his 5-foot, 6-inch (1.68 m) height.Kila Airfield
Kila Airfield (also known as Kila Kila Airfield and 3-Mile Drome) is a former World War II airfield near Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. It was part of a multiple-airfield complex in the Port Moresby area, located north of Joyce Bay, three miles from the town of Port Moresby near the village of Kila Kila.
The airfield was Port Moresby's first civilian airfield, built in 1933 by the Australian administration.Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
The Northrop (later Northrop Grumman) B-2 Spirit, also known as the Stealth Bomber, is an American heavy strategic bomber, featuring low observable stealth technology designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses; it is a flying wing design with a crew of two. The bomber can deploy both conventional and thermonuclear weapons, such as eighty 500-pound class (230 kg) Mk 82 JDAM Global Positioning System-guided bombs, or sixteen 2,400-pound (1,100 kg) B83 nuclear bombs. The B-2 is the only acknowledged aircraft that can carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons in a stealth configuration.
Development started under the "Advanced Technology Bomber" (ATB) project during the Carter administration; its expected performance was one of his reasons for the cancellation of the supersonic B-1A bomber. The ATB project continued during the Reagan administration, but worries about delays in its introduction led to the reinstatement of the B-1 program. Program costs rose throughout development. Designed and manufactured by Northrop, later Northrop Grumman, the cost of each aircraft averaged US$737 million (in 1997 dollars). Total procurement costs averaged $929 million per aircraft, which includes spare parts, equipment, retrofitting, and software support. The total program cost, which included development, engineering and testing, averaged $2.1 billion per aircraft in 1997.Because of its considerable capital and operating costs, the project was controversial in the U.S. Congress. The winding-down of the Cold War in the latter portion of the 1980s dramatically reduced the need for the aircraft, which was designed with the intention of penetrating Soviet airspace and attacking high-value targets. During the late 1980s and 1990s, Congress slashed plans to purchase 132 bombers to 21. In 2008, a B-2 was destroyed in a crash shortly after takeoff, though the crew ejected safely. Twenty B-2s are in service with the United States Air Force, which plans to operate them until 2032.The B-2 is capable of all-altitude attack missions up to 50,000 feet (15,000 m), with a range of more than 6,000 nautical miles (6,900 mi; 11,000 km) on internal fuel and over 10,000 nautical miles (12,000 mi; 19,000 km) with one midair refueling. It entered service in 1997 as the second aircraft designed to have advanced stealth technology after the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk attack aircraft. Though designed originally as primarily a nuclear bomber, the B-2 was first used in combat dropping conventional, non-nuclear ordnance in the Kosovo War in 1999. It later served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.Northrop T-38 Talon
The Northrop T-38 Talon is a two-seat, twinjet supersonic jet trainer. It was the world's first supersonic trainer and is also the most produced. The T-38 remains in service as of 2018 in several air forces.
The United States Air Force (USAF) operates the most T-38s. In addition to training USAF pilots, the T-38 is used by NASA. The U.S. Naval Test Pilot School is the principal US Navy operator (other T-38s were previously used as USN aggressor aircraft until replaced by the similar Northrop F-5 Tiger II). Pilots of other NATO nations fly the T-38 in joint training programs with USAF pilots.
As of 2018, the T-38 has been in service for over 50 years with its original operator, the United States Air Force.Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base
Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base is a Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) facility located near the city of Ubon Ratchathani, in Ubon Ratchathani Province. It is approximately 488 km (303 miles) northeast of Bangkok. The Laos border is about 60 kilometers (40 miles) directly east. The facility is also used as a civil airport.
Ubon RTAFB is the home of Wing 21 of the RTAF 2nd Air Division. The RTAF 211 Squadron Eagles fly the Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II fighter aircraft from Ubon.Whiteman Air Force Base
Whiteman Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: SZL, ICAO: KSZL, FAA LID: SZL) is a United States Air Force base located approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Knob Noster, MO; 10 miles (16 km) east of Warrensburg, MO, and 70 miles (110 km) east-southeast of Kansas City.
The host unit at Whiteman AFB is the 509th Bomb Wing (509 BW), assigned to the Eighth Air Force of the Air Force Global Strike Command. The 509 BW operates the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, designed to be employed to strike high-value targets that are either out of range of conventional aircraft or considered to be too heavily defended for conventional aircraft to strike without a high risk of loss.
Whiteman AFB was established in 1942 as Sedalia Glider Base.