B-2 Stealth Bomber is grounded for Rose Parade; Here’s Plan B (1)


A long-standing tradition in Pasadena’s Rose Parade will pause in 2023 while safety concerns ground B-2 bombers in the region.

The prestigious B-2 Stealth Bomber, which annually signifies the start of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game on New Year’s Day, will not participate in the upcoming Rose Parade or Rose Bowl Game flyovers scheduled for Jan. 2.

Instead, Missouri-based Whiteman Air Force Base officials announced Friday, Dec. 16, B-1B Lancer Bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota will flyover to mark the moment.

B-1 bomber on display at the 2022 Aerospace Valley Open House, Air Show media day EdWards AFB Friday, Mojave CA, Oct14,2032. The USAF Thunder Birds will perform for the Air Force 75th anniversary as the air show runs on Oct 15-16th and this is first show at the AFB sense 2009.(Photo by Gene Blevins/ /Contributing Photographer)

The change stems from “a safety pause,” officials said, that will 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, noting the top concern of military leaders is the safety and security of their personnel and fleet.

“Although we are not participating in this flyover, we remain steadfast in our commitment to answer our nation’s call,” Diehl added. The Air Force also remains committed to returning the B-2 to Pasadena in 2024.

More Rose Parade coverage here

When spectators look to the sky this year, however, the B-1B Lancer, what officials say is a critical flying machine in the Air Force’s strategic bomber fleet, will be the plane representing the nation and carrying on the bomber tradition at the Tournament of Roses.

Pasadena Tournament of Roses leaders said they are honored to know the U.S. Air Force will once again soar over the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl, continuing an iconic tradition.

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“We are looking forward to kicking off 2023 with the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth AFB-B-1B Lancer Bomber,” said spokesperson Candy Carlson, “and turning the corner into a new year.”

Related links

Reflections on a year without a Rose Parade
The Rose Parade and a big bad bomber
Rose Parade float building has always been costly; inflation and pandemic didn’t help
Want to decorate a Rose Parade float? Here’s how

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