The United States dispatched two B-2 bombers to destroy two ISIS camps in the waning days of President Barack Obama’s administration.
Dozens of ISIS operatives were said to have been killed in the bombing, which targeted the camps about 30 miles southwest of the coastal Libyan town of Sirte, according to CNN.
From The Daily Mail
Now those who have piloted the stealth aircraft used in the mission describe what it’s like to fly such a sortie.
It turns out that the grueling mission entails one continuous flight that spans 32 hours and 5,700 miles for the two men inside the cockpit of a B-2, according to Popular Mechanics.
‘Every B-2 pilot on the base wanted to go on this mission,’ an Air Force pilot identified only by the moniker ‘Scorch’ told Popular Mechanics.
Scorch is one of the pilots based at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
That is the base from which the two B-2 bombers took off just days before Obama would step down from the Oval Office.
The pilots flew all the way to Libya – a journey that entails two mid-air refueling operations – and return home to base without landing anywhere else or pausing for a break.
Each of the B-2 bombers carried 80 500-pound precision bombs guided by GPS satellite systems.
The bombs are so sophisticated that they could be programmed to explode when hitting ‘a specific target, at a specific altitude, from a specific angle, at a specific time.’
The air force personnel charged with the painstaking task of preparing the flights and the mission pre-program the targets into the bombs.
The Libya mission required the B-2 bombers to unload the bombs in their arsenal and then wait overhead for an assessment of the damage.
If there is a target they missed, they fire again.
The US Air Force has just 20 of these B-2 stealth bomber planes.
The aircraft, which was produced by defense contractor Northrop Grumman, is priced at an estimated $737million per plane.
Initially built in order to avoid radar detection during Cold War-era missions, the B-2 is capable of dropping both convention as well as nonconventional bombs.
If necessary, pilots are given Dexedrine or other pills that place them on a rest cycle before their mission.
The cockpit includes a six-foot space where pilots set up a cot to sleep.
Behind the right seat is a stainless-steel bowl that serves as a toilet.
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