The B-2 force currently deployed from Whiteman AFB, Mo., to Andersen AFB, Guam, on a regular strategic presence rotation recently flew a Polar Lightning mission, taking them from Guam to Alaska and back during a 24-hour sortie. As part of the mission, the bombers drop ordnance over the Alaskan range before making the flight back to Andersen. “It is important that we practice like we play, and Polar Lightning provides a great opportunity for our aircrews to get some long endurance experience,” said Maj. Beth Makros, 13th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron director of operations. The Indiana Air National Guard’s 434th Air Refueling Squadron, also deployed to Guam, provided the aerial refueling needed for the mission. (Andersen report by SrA. Ryan Whitney)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.