U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers and approximately 200 Airmen deployed from the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., to Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia to support Pacific Air Forces’ Bomber Task Force missions, recently. These BTF missions demonstrate the commitment to U.S. allies and partners through the employment of military force. Multiple sorties will be flown throughout the deployment in support of multiple geographic combatant command objectives and training requirements.
“Global B-1 operations not only provide strategic deterrence to our nation’s adversaries, but also strong, palpable assurance to our allies,” said Hobbs. “It’s been over 15 years since B-1s have operated out of this location and the 37th Bomb Squadron is beyond proud to be back. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity and well prepared to meet our nation’s call.”
“Bomber Task Force missions, in support of INDOPACOM’s operational and strategic objectives, are extremely valuable to our aircrew because of the multi-country integration opportunities,” said Lt. Col. Ross Hobbs, 37th Bomb Squadron director of operations. “They also give us the opportunity to showcase the unmatched range, speed and lethality of the B-1.”
The Rockwell B-1 Lancer is a supersonic variable-sweep wing, heavy bomber used by the United States Air Force. It is commonly called the “Bone” (from “B-One”). The program was restarted in 1981, largely as an interim measure due to delays in the B-2 stealth bomber program. This led to a redesign as the B-1B, which differed from the B-1A by having a lower top speed of Mach 1.25 at high altitude, but improved the low-altitude speed to Mach 0.96. The B-1 carries the largest conventional payload of guided and unguided weapons in the U.S. Air Force. Missions such as these allow the ability of speed, surprise and integration of U.S. Air Force bombers in multiple theaters.