The U.S. Air Force is training its B-2 crews in conducting bombing runs if hostilities break out in the Pacific or Indo-Pacific. It is vital that combat readiness is kept at all times for the air force.
This operation involves B-2s and B-1Bs that are training to find and attack targets, learning how to adapt to a moving a non-static target. Another aspect is working with ground troops, and synch movements with warfare operations of the Australian Marines, reported Fox News.
During the operations, the American bombers were working with the U.S. and Australian Joint Tactical Air Controllers. Other units involved are Australian Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters and the U.S. Marine Corps RQ-21A Blackjacks that pointed out the targets to be bombed,according to the Air Force.
According to planners, the exercise is meant to improve the quality of training to hasten Bomber Task Force operation through the Pacific mention senior staff commanders. No chance is taken to lessen the efficacy of Air force resources that will create a dynamic and reactive force, to counter any hostile moves.
Maj. Gen. Mark E. Weatherington of the Eighth Air Force said that maintaining dynamic energy in keeping up bomber operations is vital for the Bomber Task Force (BTFs) to show U.S. commitment to the region at large. Keeping up a tempo that cannot be deciphered by opponents, forgoing predictable movements that will be hard for any enemy to guess what will come next, he said in an interview with The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.
Factors like air to ground coordination, advanced targeting systems with multiple platform networking, are important in the changing theatre of operations in the pacific. Coordination of all forces is an important aspect to explore in actual combat exercises.
Targets can be static or moving which means acquiring targets and adjusting to relative positions of targets dynamically, while in route is a must during flight. During this time, the bomber is sharing data with all units on the battlefield.
In the exercises, a B-2 with two B-1B cold war bombers released their live ordnance on the designated targets. Other practice bombing runs were coordinated rapid airstrike, also air to ground call a low pass coverage maneuver while bombing.
Bomber flying these missions will be using those methods to take out mostly mobile launchers and static emplacement. Islands already in Chinese hands will have the same emplacements, but bristling with missiles. Another one to worry about are Russian built SAMs that are also part of the Chinese defenses.
Any B-2 coming into range of the Chinese fortification will meet many missiles, but taking out the ones with the DF-26 2,000-mile-ranged anti-ship missile is the priority. Current B-2s are equipped with the new Defensive Management System, this is an important component in the U.S efforts. Essentially, a sensor that will show the locations of all enemy threats are avoiding them till the bombs are dropped.
Networking the data to B-1B, which is more radar visible and using the information passed on by the B-2. In essence, the B-2 and B-1B will coordinate and link data to all units involved in the operation. These B-2s are exploring the system that links data, and bombing runs are just part of situational awareness.