Defense

February 14, 2014

13th Bomb Squadron brings global strike capability to Red Flag

SrA. Airman Dustin Childs, 509th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., finishes cleaning the landing gear doors of a B-2 Spirit during Red Flag 14-1 Feb. 10 at Nellis AFB, Nev. The B-2 is a low-observable bomber aircraft capable of releasing conventional and nuclear ordinances. Red Flag is an exercise that gives air and ground crews from various squadrons, branches and allied nations the chance to come together and practice various combat scenarios in a controlled environment.

Gliding through the air like a phantom in the night, the B-2 Spirit evades enemy air defenses, finds its target, then unleashes its firepower only to slip away from the enemy as quietly as it came.

During the years, Red Flag exercises have progressed from dog fight air-to-air combat training into complete combat integration involving all aspects of air warfare. Air-to-ground attacks are a vital part of an air campaign, and the 13th Bomb Squadron brings the B-2, a vital asset, to that fight.

The B-2, and its unique characteristics, helps ensure the U.S. and its allies maintain control of the airspace.

“The B-2 can bring a global strike capability at any time,” said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Schreiner, 13th BS commander.

“The B-2 is a high altitude dominant force capable of taking out any high value target while evading enemy radar,” said Master Sgt. David Rohde, 509th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production superintendent.

The B-2 is a low observable aircraft, meaning it can evade enemy air and ground defenses, release its munitions on target, and return home all with-it being detected.

“It is a dual-role bomber, meaning it can carry both conventional and nuclear munitions. During Red Flag exercises, we’re using [conventional] ordinance,” Schreiner said.

The 13th BS was established in 1917 and has fought in every major conflict the U.S. has been involved in since. The stealth abilities and level of firepower the B-2 has is just the latest in a long line of bomber aircraft and weaponry used by the squadron.

A U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., sits on the flightline during Red Flag 14-1 Feb. 10 at Nellis AFB, Nev. The B-2 is a low-observable aircraft capable of infiltrating enemy air space and destroying high value ground targets all while avoiding enemy air defenses. Red Flag encompasses all aspects of aerial warfare including air-to-air, air-to-ground, and electronic warfare.

During Red Flag 14-1, the B-2 has participated in exercises alongside more than 125 other aircraft including the F-22 Raptor, F-16 Fighting Falcon, KC-135 Stratotanker, and aircraft from Great Britain and Australia. The B-2 was incorporated into mission packages to take out ground targets presenting a threat to other aircraft that don’t have the same stealth characteristics. Once the high-value ground targets were neutralized, the other aircraft were able to conduct their missions.

Getting the B-2s to Nellis AFB was a large operation. The 13th BS brought more than 100 military members from Whiteman AFB, Mo, to include maintainers, operators and defenders from the 509th Security Forces Squadron. All of these people are essential for the B-2 to effectively participate in Red Flag.

The 13th BS brought its own security forces for several reasons. One reason is the B-2 requires around-the-clock armed guard because it is such a valuable asset, and the squadron did not want to lean too heavily on security forces from the 99th SFS. The second reason was Whiteman AFB security forces understand the unique circumstances of guarding the aircraft.

In addition to bringing invaluable assets to Red Flag, the 13th BS also benefited from the exercise.

SrA. Eric Pope, 509th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., prepares a B-2 Spirit for flight during Red Flag 14-1 Feb. 10 at Nellis AFB, Nev. At Red Flag, the B-2 has participated in exercises alongside other combat aircraft including the F-22, F-16, F-15, as well as those from the United Kingdom and Australia.

“Red Flag is a good stepping stone and training environment for real world operations” said Rohde, who has participated in six Red Flag exercises.

“Any time you’re away from home it will put on added stress” Schreiner said.

The combined stress of being away from home and training in a fast paced environment ensures the squadron was that much more combat ready and efficient when the time comes for real world operations.

“We are known as ‘The Devil’s own grim reapers,’” Schreiner said.

The ability to strike any target, any time, at any location with extreme lethality justifies this saying. That lethal efficiency is only possible through the men and women who pilot, maintain, and defend the Spirit.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 1, 2014

News: Military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds - An independent panel appointed by the Pentagon and Congress said July 31 that President Obama’s strategy for sizing the armed services is too weak for today’s global threats. Defense industry funds flow to contenders for key House chairmanships - Four of the top...
 
 

News Briefs August 1, 2014

China allows foreign reporters at news conference Foreign reporters are being allowed to attend China’s Defense Ministry briefings for the first time, marking a small milestone in the increasingly confident Chinese military’s efforts to project a more transparent image. Restrictions still apply and there is no sign of an improvement in the generally paltry amount...
 
 
Army photograph by John Andrew Hamilton

Rapid Equipping Force, PEO Soldier test targeting device at White Sands Missile Range

Army photograph by John Andrew Hamilton SFC Justin Rotti, a combat developer from the Training and Doctrine Command Fire Cell, Fires Center of Excellence, uses a developmental hand held precision targeting device during a test ...
 

 

NASA awards modification for geophysics, geodynamics, space geodesy support contract

NASA has awarded a modification to Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies Inc. of Greenbelt, Md. to continuing working the the Geophysics, Geodynamics and Space Geodesy Support Services contract. The maximum ordering value of the GGSG contract will increase to $76.8 million. The previous amount was $49.5 million. The increase in the maximum ordering value of the contract...
 
 
boeing-japan

Boeing, All Nippon Airways finalize order for 40 wide-body airplanes

  Boeing and All Nippon Airways July 31 finalized an order for 40 widebody airplanes – 20 777-9Xs, 14 787-9 Dreamliners and six 777-300ERs (Extended Range) – as part of the airline’s strategic long-haul fleet ren...
 
 

Excalibur Ib enters full rate production, receives $52 million award

TUCSON, Ariz., July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon’s Excalibur Ib precision guided projectile has entered full rate production. U.S. Army approval of FRP completes Excalibur Ib’s low rate initial production phase. †Additionally, the U.S. Army has awarded Raytheon $52 million for continued Excalibur Ib production. “The full rate production decision is the culmination ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>