Three B-2 Spirit stealth bombers deployed to the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean Tuesday as part of a bomber task force mission.

The B-2s, from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, arrived at Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia on Wednesday after a 29-hour sortie, Pacific Air Forces said in a release.

In the release, task force commander Lt. Col. Christopher Conant said the airmen of Whiteman and Global Strike Command are excited to be back at Diego Garcia and ready to support the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, even during the ongoing pandemic.

“This bomber task force is our National Defense Strategy in action,” Lt. Col. Christopher Conant, the task force’s commander, said in the release. “We are sharpening our lethality while strengthening relationships with key allies, partners and our sister service teammates.”

The last time a B-2 task force deployed to the INDOPACOM region was in January 2019, when three B-2s and about 200 airmen deployed to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii. Those B-2s were from Whiteman’s 393rd Bomb Squadron, and flew 27 sorties for a total of 171 hours. Their local and long-duration missions included practicing hot-pit refueling and sorties with the Hawaii Air National Guard’s F-22 Raptors.

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter at Defense News. He previously reported for Military.com, covering the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare. Before that, he covered U.S. Air Force leadership, personnel and operations for Air Force Times.

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