The runway at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, reopened Wednesday after a disabled B-2 Spirit bomber blocked the installation’s lone strip for over a week.

The B-2 malfunctioned in flight on Dec. 10 and made an emergency landing at its home base, where it remained on the pavement for days while an accident investigation began.

Whiteman has indicated that the stealth bomber caught fire, saying that firefighters extinguished a blaze “associated with the aircraft” after it landed.

Having a functioning runway again means the base can resume flying its A-10C Thunderbolt II attack planes, owned by the Air Force Reserve’s 442nd Fighter Wing, and T-38 Talon training jets, which prepare airmen to pilot the B-2 and A-10.

The Air Force’s fleet of 20 B-2s — the service’s only stealth bomber capable of carrying nuclear weapons — is still grounded as airmen check the planes for safety defects. Whiteman is the military’s only B-2 base.

The service has declined to say what it suspects caused the accident.

“The B-2 fleet can be flown if directed by the commander-in-chief to fulfill mission requirements,” the Air Force said.

Rachel Cohen is the editor of Air Force Times. She joined the publication as its senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), Air and Space Forces Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy and elsewhere.

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