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Superhero’s secret: Whiteman AFB ‘sidekicks’

Graphic of the B-2 Spirit as a comic book strip.

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Taylor Phifer)

Graphic of the B-2 Spirit as a comic book strip.

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Taylor Phifer)

Graphic of the B-2 Spirit as a comic book strip.

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Taylor Phifer)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- In the middle of Missouri lives a superhero only a few have ever seen, let alone met. A one-of-a-kind machine, created solely to defend and avenge, that soars high in the clouds in stealthy disguise.

That’s me: the B-2 Spirit. I am America’s Bomber. Though I don’t have much time before my next mission, I wanted to share with you one of my deepest secrets.

I’m a multi-role bomber aircraft that can deliver both conventional and nuclear munitions – 40,000 pounds of weapons designed to deter aggression.

I’m about 20 feet tall, nearly 70 feet long and 160,000 pounds of pure aircraft muscle.

I. Am. A. Beast.

That means I need a lot of well-trained sidekicks to give me round-the-clock attention.

That’s my secret: my Airmen.

There’s a lot of work, time and effort that goes into making me and my 19 super powered brothers and sisters ready to fight. Actually, that is a vast understatement. So, to my important maintenance men and women who pull long shifts: thank you. As awesome as I am, I’m nothing without you.

Team Whiteman keeps me fit-to-fight and equipped with stealth. My Airmen empower me to surprise my enemies anywhere on the planet, making sure they’ll never see me coming.

Part of being a hero is maintaining a well-rounded diet, which my friends at Whiteman help me with by testing everything before they feed me. So, a huge thank you to my fuels Airmen who give me the strength to not just aim high, but to get there.

Of course, my favorite thing to do is fly. There is nothing quite like flying.

When I’m not getting pampered in the bays, it’s all about test drives with my pilots. I can only fit a two-member crew, but we can fly 30-hour missions, and even longer after air refueling. I remember one time we flew nonstop to Afghanistan and back to Missouri in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. That was one of my longest missions, but I’d do it again without question.

When I’m not out protecting my country and the world, I’m back at my home base with my chill Talon crews. They’re the high-altitude, supersonic T-38s that keep my pilots qualified to fly with me.

Being stationed at Whiteman, you run the only operational base that is able to house us B-2 Spirits. In my not-so-humble opinion, we are the luckiest aircraft on the planet because we have you. I think I’m the baddest there’s ever been, but without you, my Airmen, I’d be the hero that never was.

No matter your role, whether it’s medical, operations, mission support or maintenance, it is because of you I can fly. You’re all necessary to fulfill the mission at Whiteman to execute strategic deterrence, global strike and combat support… anytime, anywhere!

**BEEP, BEEP, BEEP**

It’s about time to get going, but you can follow me on Twitter at @Whiteman_AFB.