B-2 Bomber Crashes In Guam...

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B-2 Bomber Crashes In Guam...

Post  7Steven on Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:14 am

Well, you'd think they could build a better plane for the price of 12 Boeing 787 Dreamliners...

Posted on Sat, Feb. 23, 2008 02:09 AM

B-2 stealth bomber crashes in Guam, but pilots eject safely











Staff and wire reports






HAGATNA, Guam | A B-2 stealth bomber crashed at Andersen Air Force
Base on Guam this morning, but both pilots ejected safely and were in
good condition, the Air Force said.The pilots are from the 509th
Bomb Wing based at Whiteman Air Force Base near Knob Noster, Mo., about
60 miles east of Kansas City.The plane was deployed to Guam from Whiteman, where the U.S. fleet of B-2 Spirit bombers is based.It
was the first crash of a B-2 bomber, said Capt. Sheila Johnston, a
spokeswoman for Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base in
Virginia.The pilots and the bomber had been on Guam since Oct.
5, said Tech. Sgt. Thomas Czerwinski, of the Pacific Air Forces public
affairs office.“But we can’t say anything about the specific mission they were on or why they are flying,” he said.Also, it was not known whether the crash took place as the plane was taking off or landing.Four
B-2 bombers have been stationed at Andersen as part of a continuous
bomber presence in Guam since March 2004 in connection with the global
war on terror, Czerwinski said.After this morning’s crash, thick
black smoke billowed from the wreckage behind the base’s air control
tower, said Geanne Ward, who was on the base visiting her husband.She said crowds began to gather as emergency vehicles arrived.“Everybody
was on their cell phones, and the first thing everyone wanted to know
was did the pilots make it out in time,” she said.The accident
occurred 11 days after a Navy plane crashed into the ocean about 20
miles northeast of Guam’s Ritidian Point. Four air crew members ejected
from the EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft and were rescued.The
B-2 rotations to Guam are designed to boost the U.S. security presence
in the Asia-Pacific region while other U.S. forces are diverted to
fight in the Middle East.The Pacific base, 3,700 miles southwest
of Hawaii, provides an advantage should the bomber be needed to fly
missions in Asia. Because Guam is a U.S. possession, the United States
would not need permission of host nations to launch military
operations. And the forward positioning of the bomber eliminates the
need for two-day round-trip flights from Missouri.The fleet of
21 B-2 bombers, distinguished by their radar-evading stealth
technology, originally was designed as a nuclear option to strike
heavily defended targets inside the Soviet Union. But with the end of
the Cold War, the B-2 has taken on missions delivering more
conventional weapons.The aircraft first saw action in 1999,
flying from Whiteman to the former Yugoslavia. It also was the first
aircraft to attack the Taliban when the United States launched attacks
in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.Armed with GPS-guided smart munitions, the plane flew missions over Baghdad with the start of the war in Iraq.






The Associated Press and The Star’s Joyce Tsai contributed to this report.

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