Birdseye view of the B-2 flying over the desert. (Courtesy Photo)
White Sands Test Center supported a large scale mission involving the B-2 Stealth Bomber at the Nevada Test and Training Range in early May by providing air space.
Adam Uribe, Test Manager 586 FLTS/Det 1 at WSMR, led the effort alongside his WSTC counterparts to push through funding and enable this mission.
Because of those efforts the 509 OSS was able to utilize WSMR airspace for holding before test drops in the NTTR. In doing so, WSMR supported the execution of this Secretary of Defense directed exercise.
Due to the duration of hold required, the number of aircraft, and criticality of timing, utilization of FAA airspace was extremely undesirable due to its inherently unpredictable nature. WSTC support was critical to mission success.
Uribe said that due to the large number of B-2s required for the mission, WSTC provided a holding space, allowing them to complete their mission. He said Range Control was heavily involved and made sure they had the airspace they needed to successfully complete the mission.
The U.S. Air Force's B-2 stealth bomber is a key component of the nation's long-range strike arsenal, and one of the most survivable aircraft in the world. Its unique stealth characteristics allow it to penetrate the most sophisticated enemy defenses.
According to the Northrop Grumman web page many people consider the B-2 an engineering marvel and one of the finest example of American air superiority.
Northrop Grumman is the B-2 prime contractor leading an industry team that works with the Air Force to modernize the B-2, ensuring that it remains fully mission capable against evolving worldwide threats.
A range of upgrade programs are improving the B-2's lethality: its ability to collect, process and disseminate battlefield information with joint force commanders or other local first responders worldwide, and its ability to receive updated target information during a mission.