The Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff joins the crew of a USAF B-2 Bomber for a flight

The Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Operations & Commitments), the Royal Air Force’s Air Vice-Marshal Allan Marshall, has joined the United States Air Force crew of a B-2 Spirit Bomber for a familiarisation flight at Whiteman Airforce Base, Missouri.

AVM Marshall and a USAF B-2 Spirit stealth bomber

The flight was part of a visit that AVM Marshall is conducting to gain a better understanding of the role of US Strategic Command and the B-2 stealth bomber’s capabilities to penetrate an adversary's most sophisticated defences.  During the visit the AVM was hosted by Colonel Keith Butler USAF, the 509th Bomb Wing commander.

Marshall (left) and Butler (right) walk across the flight line

“It was a privilege to experience, first hand, the impressive capability of the B-2 Bomber and to meet the highly professional US personnel who ensure the readiness of the aircraft and wider Global Strike Command. The visit provided an opportunity to increase my understanding of how the B-2 and other USAF Global Strike Command capabilities fulfil the US Strategic Command Mission, and to reinforce the links between US Strategic Command and the Ministry of Defence.”

AVM Marshall
Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Operations & Commitments)

AVM Marshall boards a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber

The visit of AVM Marshall demonstrated the shared commitment that the US and the UK have for global security and stability and was a USAF demonstration of one of their abilities to respond to a threat against the United States, NATO allies or partner nations.

Marshall (left) and Armagost (right) on a runway chatting

During the visit the AVM also had the opportunity to meet Major General Jason Armagost USAF, the commander of the USAF 8th Air Force.  The famous 8th Air Force was originally formed as the United States Army Air Force 8th Air Force during World War Two.  It was then based in the UK to conduct the strategic daylight bombing campaign of Germany, while the RAF’s Bomber Command was carrying out the night time element of this round the clock operation.

Butler (left) and Marshall (right) in front of B-2 bomber

“It was an honour for Team Whiteman to host AVM Marshall and demonstrate the capabilities of the world’s premiere stealth bomber. The UK and the RAF have been important strategic partners and staunch allies of the US for many years, even hosting Bomber Task Force Missions in the past. This visit strengthens our partnership and furthers our mutual goal of strategic deterrence.”

Col Butler
USAF, the 509th Bomb Wing commander