Saturday, February 23, 2008

What was a B-2 bomber doing at Guam?

As you may have heard by now, a B-2 bomber has crashed upon takeoff in Guam. The question unanswered by the USAF in all this is: What's a B-2 doing in Guam? To quote a British newspaper: " The US military would not comment on the purpose of the plane’s doomed flight."

First, a little bit of information. There are three (3) airfields in the entire world that have the ability to properly house the B-2 bomber. Those are Whiteman AFB in Missouri, Guam, and Diego Garcia. That's it. The coatings on the B-2 bomber that give it its "stealth" capabilities require maintenance after every flight, and requires that the B-2 be housed in a climate-controlled hangar between flights, and those are the only three airfields in the entire world with these facilities.

Another piece of the puzzle is the B-2 bomber's shuttle range. This is the range that the B-2 can go one-way, without aerial refuelling, while unloaded. To get to Diego Garcia from Missouri while unloaded, the B-2 requires a stop at Guam.

The final piece of the puzzle is that the aircraft crashed upon takeoff. This means one of three things: Either the aircraft was taking off on a training mission (unlikely, those are typically flown out of Missouri because of the much lesser expense), or it was on its way to Diego Garcia, or it was on its way back to Missouri.

So where does that leave us? It seems unlikely that the USAF would stonewall if the aircraft was taking off on a routine training mission or was on its way back to Missouri. Which means that, most likely, the aircraft was on its way to Diego Garcia for some purpose. But while there is a target for the B2 if it's based at Guam (that's where we maintain our capability to bomb North Korea if North Korea decides to invade South Korea for some insane reason), there is no target for the B2 within flight range of Diego Garcia. Except, well... Iran.

Which surprises us... how? Dear Leader is eager to saddle his successor with an unwinnable war in Iran to go with the unwinnable occupation of Iraq. Keep your eyes open, folks. Is Dear Leader preparing air strikes against Iran? If not, then the USAF is acting very strangely indeed...

-- Badtux the War Penguin


  1. Iraq would also be in range, presumably. But what would a B-2 be doing in Iraq?

  2. B-2's are *only* used to penetrate air defenses. Iraq has no air defenses. B-1B and B-52 bombers are currently flying missions over Iraq from Diego Garcia, but the B-2 is too expensive and too maintenance-intensive to be used for routine bombing missions of that sort.

  3. "What's a B-2 doing in Guam?"

    What do B-2's everywhere do? Stupid stuff.

  4. "Which surprises us... how? Dear Leader is eager to saddle his successor with an unwinnable war in Iran to go with the unwinnable occupation of Iraq."

    Operative word here is "successor". Based on his record, I would say "President" McCain would want some B-2's within handy striking range of Iran. It's part of Operation Clean Break, the neo-con/likudnik plan to reshape the Middle East.

    Makes me wonder how "safe" our upcoming elections really are, since "President" Obama would probably have no need of preemptive strike warbirds. There's enough Naval and Air Force firepower in the region to guarentee a safe and orderly withdrawal from Iraq.


  5. that particular b2 was preparing to return to whiteman. 2.4 billion dollars, fucking gone. those lads will be in hack for the duration of their now extremely shortened careers. in about six months they will be looking at each other saying that the stupidest fucking thing they ever did was to punch out and face this shit.

    guam is used, as you noted, mainly as a quick fuel stop. although anytime they need to intimidate china and russia, guam's the natural choice.

  6. What if Guam/Diego Garcia have nothing to do with direct flights to the mideast? What if they have everything to do with flying circumpolar, either to deliver suspected terrorist to brutal S.A. countries (rendition) or because Shrubbo also wants to bomb Venezuela?

    (I wouldn't put it past him, would you?)

  7. B-2s (and B-52s and B-1Bs) are routinely rotated through Guam. The reason? To back up Osan and Kunsan Air bases should a new korean war begin.

    Also, B-2s don't need to stop for fuel, they're capable of in-flight refueling and would do that over stopping at Guam. It would actually burn more fuel for them to land at guam on their way to Diego Garcia, not to mention that going west from Whiteman-Guam-Diego Garcia is a lot farther than going East from Whiteman-Diego Garcia.

    Do some research before you post inaccuraccies.


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