The B in “B-2” Bomber stands for “bomber.” But for the Rose Parade On Jan. 1, it stands for “back” in the parade.
For years, the giant stealth bomber’s flyovers had became a Tournament of Roses tradition, as they roared over Colorado Boulevard, leaving spectators awestruck.
But for the 2023 parade, the Air Force grounded the fleet out of safety concerns.
The change stemmed from “a safety pause,” officials said, that was to allow base personnel to inspect the fleet after a Dec. 10 incident in which a B-2 Spirit was damaged on the runway at Whiteman AFB after successfully completing an emergency landing.
“We deeply regret having to make this decision so close to the event,” U.S. Air Force Col. Daniel Diehl said in a news release at the time, noting the top concern of military leaders is the safety and security of their personnel and fleet.
Instead, Missouri-based Whiteman Air Force Base officials announced by mid-December that the B-1B Lancer Bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota would flyover to mark the moment.
The flyover was successful. But the Tournament of Roses this week confirmed the B-2 will fly over on Jan. 1, 2024.
The parade’s theme this year is “Celebrating a World of Music: The Universal Language.”
So for at least a moment, around 8 a.m., look up. The music will take a back seat to the plane’s engines as it soars overhead.
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