On Wednesday 28th August, all three B-2 Stealth Bombers departed Fairford routing North using the callsigns MYTEE 11, 12 and 13.
MYTEE 11 and 12 were flying in a two-ship formation and ultimately done a nice scene tour around the UK and were intercepted working various Scottish Military frequencies. They also confirmed that MYTEE 13 was trailing behind however were working to a different flight plan.
During the flight, MYTEE 13 made a callsign change to MYTEE 22 and was then heard working Oceanic Clearance on 123.950MHz for a very brief period, although no routing was overheard.
The initial speculation during the arrival period was that the third aircraft was only due to refuel at RAF Fairford and then return straight back to the USA. With MYTEE 22 now working Oceanic Clearance and routing north via STN (Stornoway), it was anticipated the aircraft was homeward bound – not to be seen again.
Nothing could be further from the truth however and it turns out this was a historic day for the 509th Bomber Wing and the B-2 Stealth Bomber. In an official press release from the US Air Forces in Europe & Air Force Africa, the aircraft which many thought was homeward bound actually landed in Iceland, only to return to RAF Fairford later in the evening.
The historic arrival was revealed via Social Media well in advance of any official press release being distributed through the official channels.
The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber conducted a flight from RAF
Fairford, England, to Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, as part of a Bomber Task
Force training mission Aug. 28. This mission, which involved rapid refuelling
at Keflavik AB, was conducted with the cooperation of our NATO ally, Iceland.
The purpose of the flight was to conduct theatre familiarization for aircrew members and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to allies and partners through the global employment of our military forces. U.S. Strategic Command regularly tests and evaluates the readiness of strategic assets to ensure we are able to honour our security commitments.
The B-2 bomber, part of the Bomber Task Force currently deployed to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility, is from the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The aircraft arrived in theatre on Aug. 27, and are temporarily operating out of RAF Fairford. The deployment of strategic bombers to the U.K. helps exercise RAF Fairford as U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s forward operating location for bombers.
Strategic bomber missions enhance the readiness and training necessary to respond to any potential crisis or challenge across the globe.
Unfortunately I missed MYTEE 22 returning back to RAF Fairford however yet again the radio hobby has provided another front row seat on a historic global event with the first ever landing of a B-2 Stealth Bomber at Iceland.