B-2 Flyover Set To Return to Rose Bowl

The stealth bomber’s long-standing tradition of participating in the festivities in Pasadena, California resumes New Year’s Day.

A B-2 Spirit from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, opens the 108th Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, California, January 1, 2022. [Courtesy: U.S. Air Force]

The Air Force will be resuming the tradition of a Northrop Grumman [NYSE: NOC] B-2 Spirit stealth bomber flyover during the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California, on January 1, 2024, it said.

"Continuing a lasting relationship with the Tournament of Roses Foundation, the B-2 will kick off the Rose Bowl game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Michigan Wolverines with a flyover," the Air Force's 509th Bomb Wing said.

A B-2 Spirit from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, opens the 133rd Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, January 1, 2022. [Courtesy: U.S. Air Force]

The B-2 has flown over the Rose Parade and Bowl every year since 2005—until last year when the Air Force grounded its fleet for inspection after a bomber made a hard landing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The stealth bomber is operated by the 509th and 131st Bomb Wings at Whiteman AFB. 

During the December 2022 incident, a B-2 flying a routing operation had an inflight malfunction and was forced to make an emergency landing, catching fire in the process. The mishap prompted Whiteman AFB to institute a safety pause for a B-2 fleet inspection. A pair of B-1B Lancer bombers from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, were then tasked with carrying over the flyover tradition for the 2023 Rose Parade or Rose Bowl Game.

“We are excited to return to the 2024 Rose Bowl,” said Colonel Keith Butler, 509th Bomb Wing commander at Whiteman AFB. “We have enjoyed a long relationship with the city of Pasadena and are honored to bring the B-2 back to demonstrate Team Whiteman’s commitment to the American people. Our mission is to execute nuclear operations and global strike…anytime, anywhere, and it would not be possible without the support of the people we serve. This is our way of saying, thank you.”

Earlier this month, Whiteman AFB marked its three decades as home to the B-2 Spirit by holding a ceremony that reenacted the bomber's first arrival to the base.

Retired U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Keith Meadows marshals the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber at Whiteman AFB December 15, 2023. As a staff sergeant at the time, Meadows was the first crew chief to marshal in the B-2 30 years ago when it first arrived at Whiteman AFB. [Courtesy: U.S. Air Force]

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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