Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Little Curious Things: B-2 Bomber command changes

B-2 lands at Andersen AF Guam. Guam Pacific Daily News

Both the 509th bomb wing and 393rd bomber squadron, one of two operational B-2 bomber squadrons in the wing, as I understand it, got new commanders in the last few weeks.

Col Biscone and Lt Col Tibbets

There are some anomalies here: this should be a Brigadier General slot. Not Colonel,
Biscone is up for a star, but was bounced by the Senate in the 2005 session. Not clear if it was routine stalling or with cause.

The Biscone story referes to Brig Gen Miller moving to Afghanistan, but then claims he's being promoted from 3 to 4 stars.
Which is impossible, maybe they meant he's being promoted to major general.

In and of itself, whatever.

But then there is this...

B-2 squadron deploys to Guam

Oh. bollocks. We're close to a new moon, but probably missed the window for optimal strike conditions.
Moon will be new again in ~ 3 weeks, May 27th...

UPDATE: B-2s deploy to Guam in groups of 2-4 planes on occasion for "Global Power" exercises, typically one day or 1-2 week exercises.
For the last 18 months, groups of 4 planes have been in 3 month rotation to Guam, interleaving with B-1 and B-52 groups as a "ready" force.
So, this deployment is consistent with normal rotation to replace a B-1 group going back to the US. If it stays at 4 planes or less. Of course the point of rotating forward stationed groups is to have a strike force in place.
RAF Fairford had B-2 visits a few weeks ago, seems to have been some sort of readiness exercise, not clear if there are any still there or if they went home.
I also understand there is a ANG tanker readiness exercise in progress right now, but they also do those as "surprise" exercises with some regularity.

Nothing to see here, move on.

But I still put the odds of a strike on Iran at ~> 50% within the next few weeks, most likely near the end of May if the USAF stays with past practises, and if the policital situation so dictates.


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