US deploys 3 B-2 bombers to Guam
Stealth planes arrive amid North-South dialogue
The US Pacific Command announced on its website earlier this week that it has deployed three B-2 Spirit bombers with supporting ground staff to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. Transfer of the planes from the US, which figure in radar-evading precision strikes, comes as the two Koreas engage in their first dialogue in years.
About 200 airmen have accompanied the stealth planes which are being deployed as part of the US Pacific Command’s (PACOM) Bomber Assurance and Deterrence mission. The move is described as a “short-term” deployment. There’s no word on how long it will last.
While on Guam, the Pacific Command says the B-2s “will conduct local and regional training sorties and will integrate capabilities with key regional partners, ensuring bomber crews maintain a high state of readiness and crew proficiency.”
US stand down
Despite the arrival of the B-2s on Guam, military activities directed at the North by the US and its allies have been in stand-down mode.
Washington and Seoul have announced that a pair of annual large-scale military exercises will be delayed until after the conclusion of the Winter Olympics and Paralympics which are expected to include teams from North Korea. The Winter Olympics are scheduled to start on February 9 and run through February 25 in South Korea.
The US Navy currently has one carrier strike group — the Carl Vinson — headed for the Western Pacific. Another carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan is docked in Japan, while the Theodore Roosevelt carrier group is now operating in the Persian Gulf.