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Stealthy B-2A Spirit Nuclear Bomber Makes Rare Appearance in Hawaii

In December 2022, a nuclear bomber had an unexpected landing at Whiteman Base and experienced a fire (which led to the grounding of all aircraft and drones located at the base by the US Air Force). Information regarding the resumption of B-2A Spirit flights was not provided, but a single bomber was recently seen in Hawaii.

Here is what we have learned. Although the B-2 Spirit fleet remains grounded, individual aircraft may be allowed to take off at the discretion of Global Strike Command. A picture of the bomber was taken at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (located on the same runway as the Hickam military base in Honolulu) on April 7th, 2023, four days before the US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) Global Thunder exercise. However, the B-2A Spirit bombers did not participate in the event.

Initially, there was no clarity on why or how the B-2A Spirit ended up in Honolulu, but the Global Strike Command later confirmed that the nuclear bomber was on a mission before the US Air Force had even suspended flights. The mission included a stopover in Hawaii, where the bomber will remain until flights resume.

To summarize, the incident at Whiteman Base occurred on December 10th, 2022, when routine operations were being carried out by the 509th Bomber Wing, and a malfunction was detected, leading to an emergency landing and a subsequent fire.

B-2A Spirit flights had already been stopped for four months, although the US Air Force allowed the use of A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft two weeks after the accident. Repairs for the bomber are expected to take several years.

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