Amid Ukraine Crisis, U.S. Sends Stealth Bombers to Europe for the First Time Ever

The “Spirit of Indiana,” a B-2 Spirit from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, prepares to land on the runway at RAF Fairford, England, June 8, 2014. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nick Wilson

The U.S. Air Force has sent its most advanced bomber to Europe for the first time, amid the still-festering Ukraine crisis. Two B-2 Spirit stealth bombers, the most sophisticated warplanes ever employed in combat by the U.S., will be based for a “short-term deployment” at Fairford, a Royal Air Force base in England 90 miles (150 km) west of London—just three hours’ flight away from the Russian border.

It's a clear signal to Vladimir Putin that even after the post-Cold War withdrawal, the US can still put advanced military hardware in Europe at a moment's notice—including nuclear-capable aircraft.