Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) has introduced legislation that would restore the next-generation bomber to the Air Force's 2010 budget. He doesn't believe a force of 16 combat-coded B-2s is sufficient, given normal attrition, to maintain a global strategic power deterrence until the mid- to late-2020s. Here, a B-2 bomber from the 13th Bomb Squadron, 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman AFB, Mo., takes off while another B-2 waits for clearance at Andersen AFB, Guam, March 4, 2009. More than 250 Airmen and four B-2s deployed to Andersen supporting the Pacific region’s continuous bomber presence.
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