license photo” alt=”A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer, assigned to the 34th Expeditionary Bomber Squadron, flies over the Pacific during a bomber task force mission, Saturday, in a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft assigned to the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron Back flight, June 25. The B-21 replaced the black of the B-2 bomber at the Rose Bowl overpass after being grounded this month. Photo was taken by Master Sergeant. Nicholas Priest/US Air Force/UPI | license photo“/>
December 20 (United Press International) — The U.S. Air Force said Monday it was grounding its fleet of B-2 Spirit bombers and the runway they fly from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri after one malfunctioned and had to make an emergency landing on Dec. 10.
General Timothy Wray, head of Global Strike Command, called the decision a “safety pause” to inspect the fleet after the incident.
“At this time, there is no projected end date for the safety suspension,” said the Sgt. Beth Del Vecchio of Bomb Wing Public Affairs told Defense One. “Each incident is unique and we are currently assessing what went wrong and how we can mitigate future risk.
“Once the safety investigation is concluded, we will resume normal operations.”
According to the 509th Bomber Wing, firefighters were required to extinguish flames on the plane after it landed, but no one was injured, and the specific malfunction was unknown.
The 509th Air Force issued a statement Friday saying the B-2 bombers will not be flying in the 2023 Rose Bowl parade and Rose Bowl game, replaced by B-1B Lancer bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota.
U.S. Air Force Colonel Daniel Diehl said: “Our paramount concern is the safety of our personnel and fleet. We regret having to make this decision so close to the event, but we are committed to Returning to Pasadena,” the commander of the 509th Bomb Wing said in a statement.