U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers returned to the Indo-Pacific region to conduct bilateral Bomber Task Force operations out of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, July 17. Before arriving in Guam, the B-1s conducted bilateral intercept training with Koku-Jieitai, or Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), F-15Js over the Sea of Japan to enhance readiness and interoperability. Two bombers from the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, 28th Wing, Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, deployed to support Pacific Air Forces’ training efforts with allies, partners and joint forces, and strategic deterrence missions to reinforce the rules-based international order in the region.
“Koku-Jieitai has steadily and successfully enhanced bilateral response capability and TTPs (Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures) through the training,” said JASDF Col. Teruaki Fujita, Director of Operations, Support Division, Air Staff Office. “We remain committed to bilateral training in order to strengthen alliance capabilities, as well as interoperability to deter and counter threats.”
“Our team has been actively preparing for BTF operations to ensure we’re ready and capable of meeting any requirement across the globe,” said Lt. Col. Lincoln Coleman, 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron commander. “We are excited for the opportunity to integrate with our partners and allies in the Pacific theater and increase our joint lethality.”
U.S. Strategic Command routinely conducts BTF operations across the globe as a demonstration of U.S. commitment to collective defense and to integrate with Geographic Combatant Command operations and activities. Andersen AFB last hosted B-1s in May 2020, when bombers from the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, conducted multiple sequenced bilateral missions. With the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory, the multi-mission B-1 is the backbone of America’s long-range bomber force.