Fw: [demilnet_Hawaii] B-2s drop dummy bombs on Big Island
Posted on: Tuesday, October 30, 2007
B-2s drop dummy bombs on Big Island
By William Cole
Advertiser Military Writer
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The Air Force's stealth bomber, the B-2 Spirit, dropped dummy 2,000-pound bombs at Pohakuloa Training Area on the
The batwing bombers have been used in the Koa Lightning exercises before, but the sorties on Oct. 23 were the first time B-2s were able to drop the nonexploding bombs at Pohakuloa, the Air Force said.
Maj. Brian Bogue, deputy chief of the strategy plans team with the 13th Air Force headquartered at Hickam Air Force Base, said the training policy for Pohakuloa always allowed weapons drops like the 2,000-pounders, but there had to be visual sighting of the target before release.
That was fine for a fighter, which could roll in and see a target, but bombers operate from high altitude.
"We do not visually acquire the target (with the B-2) but use our radar to acquire the target," Bogue said.
Pohakuloa personnel now have an understanding of radar bombing operations and have allowed bombers to operate within normal training procedures, he said.
Bogue said the Air Force's training "has greatly increased" with the availability of Pohakuloa for bomber practice using inert ordnance. In the past, high-altitude bombing was simulated.
The Army operates the 133,000-acre
Four B-2 Spirits deployed earlier this month to Andersen Air Force Base on Guam from Whiteman Air Force Base in
The B-2s replaced B-52 bombers. B-1 Lancer bombers also have been in the rotations to Guam since 2004, and are intended to provide a fast response to
China is building up its navy and air force, and Russia in August flew two Tu-95 "Bear" bombers within several hundred miles of Guam in what some analysts have suggested is a return to an old Cold War strategy.
The westernmost military base on
Koa Lightning exercises involving bombing training missions from Guam to
In June, four B-52s made the roundtrip mission, which involved intercept training with the Hawai'i Air National Guard's F-15 fighters.
Tactical air controllers from the 25th Air Support Operations Squadron at Wheeler Army Airfield honed their ground-based skills by calling in the B-2 air strikes during last week's training at Pohakuloa.
The tactical air controllers, or TAC-Ps, are assigned to Army units.
"Fighter attack aircraft can stay on station for 45 minutes and provide six to eight bombs. We can have a bomber overhead for two to four hours and provide four times the firepower that a fighter aircraft would," Tech. Sgt. Richard Setlock, who's with the 25th Air Support squadron, said in an Air Force news story about the training.
The Air Force said the targeting was done the "old-fashioned way" without laser targeting and global positioning guidance. Rather, the aviators used onboard instruments.
"This is the first time I've worked with the B-2, and I was actually kind of amazed by the accuracy, considering we weren't using precision weapons," Setlock said.
Reach William Cole at email@example.com.
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