Maintainers and crew chiefs prepare a B-2 at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri in March 2011. There are only 20 B-2s in the Air Force fleet. All are based at Whiteman in the 509th Bomb Wing.Two of the United States' most recognizable military aircraft -- a pair of B-2 stealth bombers -- caught the eyes of residents as they arrived in Europe this week for training, cnn reports.
"They seem to defy science!" said one Twitter user in Cirencester, England, who saw one of the stealth bombers in flight.
The bombers' unique radar-evading design always draws attention, as does this training mission in particular, which comes at a time of conflict in Ukraine.
An Air Force news release about the mission did not mention the Ukraine crisis, but U.S. fighter jets have previously been deployed to Europe on similar training missions to show support for NATO allies..
The mission for the pair of stealth bombers, the Air Force said, is to conduct flights in Europe and to become familiar with air bases and operations in the area.
"This deployment of strategic bombers provides an invaluable opportunity to strengthen and improve interoperability with our allies and partners," said Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of U.S. Strategic Command. "The training and integration of strategic forces demonstrates to our nation's leaders and our allies that we have the right mix of aircraft and expertise to respond to a variety of potential threats and situations."
The B-2s are assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
"Just saw a Stealth Bomber fly over our house," another resident said on Twitter. "Amazing aircraft. My son wanted to know if Batman was flying it."