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Next Warrior Flyby
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Next Ellsworth Fire Department Live Fire Training

December 8th, 2017





           


 
            
 
 
  
 

Raiders in the Pacific, a deeper look

A B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit conduct a flyover at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Aug.17, 2016. This marks the first time in history that all three of Air Force Global Strike Command's strategic bomber aircraft are simultaneously conducting operations in the U.S. Pacific Command area of operations. The B-1 Lancer, which arrived at Andersen Aug. 6, will replace the B-52 in support of the U.S. Pacific Command Continuous Bomber Presence mission. The CBP bomber swap between the B-1 and B-52 is occurring throughout the month of August as the B-1s return to support this mission for the first time since April 2006. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt Richard P. Ebensberger/Released)

A B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit conduct a flyover at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Aug.17, 2016. This marks the first time in history that all three of Air Force Global Strike Command's strategic bomber aircraft are simultaneously conducting operations in the U.S. Pacific Command area of operations. The B-1 Lancer, which arrived at Andersen Aug. 6, will replace the B-52 in support of the U.S. Pacific Command Continuous Bomber Presence mission. The CBP bomber swap between the B-1 and B-52 is occurring throughout the month of August as the B-1s return to support this mission for the first time since April 2006. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt Richard P. Ebensberger/Released)

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit fly over Guam after launching from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for an integrated bomber operation Aug.17, 2016. This mission marks the first time in history that all three of Air Force Global Strike Command's strategic bomber aircraft are simultaneously conducting integrated operations in the U.S. Pacific Command area of operations. As of Aug. 15, the B-1 Lancer will be temporarily deployed to Guam in support of U.S. Pacific Command's Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sandra Welch)

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit fly over Guam after launching from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for an integrated bomber operation Aug.17, 2016. This mission marks the first time in history that all three of Air Force Global Strike Command's strategic bomber aircraft are simultaneously conducting integrated operations in the U.S. Pacific Command area of operations. As of Aug. 15, the B-1 Lancer will be temporarily deployed to Guam in support of U.S. Pacific Command's Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sandra Welch)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB), S.D., takes off Oct. 25, 2016, at Andersen AFB, Guam. The aircraft is deployed in support of the U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez/Released)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB), S.D., takes off Oct. 25, 2016, at Andersen AFB, Guam. The aircraft is deployed in support of the U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez/Released)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB), S.D., takes off Oct. 25, 2016, at Andersen AFB, Guam. The aircraft is deployed in support of the U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez/Released)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB), S.D., takes off Oct. 25, 2016, at Andersen AFB, Guam. The aircraft is deployed in support of the U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez/Released)

A B-1 bomber from the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron leads a formation with fighters in front of U.S. Navy and Japanese surface vessels during Exercise Keen Sword 17, which took place Oct. 30 to Nov. 11, 2016, in the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Japan, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Keen Sword is a bilateral exercise between the Japanese Self-Defense Force and the United States designed to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance and increase combined combat readiness within the framework of the alliance.

A B-1 bomber from the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron leads a formation with fighters in front of U.S. Navy and Japanese surface vessels during Exercise Keen Sword 17, which took place Oct. 30 to Nov. 11, 2016, in the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Japan, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Keen Sword is a bilateral exercise between the Japanese Self-Defense Force and the United States designed to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance and increase combined combat readiness within the framework of the alliance.

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --

Coming off a successful deployment to the Pacific theater that included a multitude of first-ever accomplishments, Ellsworth Airmen continue to train and deploy at the pace they have maintained for more than a decade. Dispelling a common myth that the B-1’s are “taking a break” as the fleet undergoes the most comprehensive upgrades since its inception. 

 

The 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron recently returned from a six-month deployment to Guam supporting the U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence mission after spending more than 15 years deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations, with over a decade of that time as an enduring and uninterrupted combat operation. The 34th’s deployment represented the vanguard of the B-1’s return to the Pacific AOR.

 

“From the time B-1 units were ordered west from the enduring presence we had in the CENTCOM area of responsibility, our operations tempo has continued at an amazing pace,” said Lt. Col. Seth Spanier, 34th EBS commander. “We’ve participated in numerous exercises, higher headquarters missions, and most recently, our successful deployment to the PACOM AOR.”

 

The 34th EBS along with the 34th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit executed 278 sorties, 71 of which were higher headquarters-directed (HHD) missions.  The deployment began with PACOM’s first tri-bomber HHD mission comprised of a B-1B Lancer, B-52 Stratofortress and a B-2 Spirit.

 

“The simultaneous employment and integration of all three bomber aircraft in the Pacific allowed us to demonstrate the amazing capabilities each aircraft brings to the fight,” Spanier said. “All are impressive long range strikers, but each excels with its attributes in different tactical environments. The tri-bomber mission allowed us to demonstrate an impressive array of these unique capabilities to friend and foe alike.”

In their continued efforts to deter aggression, offer assurance to America’s allies, and strengthen regional security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, the 34th EBS took advantage of the unique opportunities presented. This included training focused on standoff weapons with dynamic Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile targeting, maritime combat ops, close air support, aerial maritime mining, strike coordination and reconnaissance, surface attack, and dissimilar air combat training.

 

Spanier added that the several large-scale exercises B-1 aircrews participated in allowed them to hone detailed integration and high-end tactics with allies and partners against potential adversaries in contested and degraded operational environments.

“Exercises like Valiant Shield and Keen Sword are a key component that improve both joint service and allied interoperability in the region,” Spanier said. “These types of exercises help ensure our lethality in the next potential conflict scenario.”

 

During the deployment, the B-1 flew a deterrence mission directly along the Korean Demilitarized Zone after the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s largest nuclear test.

“Amongst all of the U.S. combat power in the Pacific, the Commander of U.S. PACOM directly chose the 34th EBS B-1’s as his primary response to this nuclear test in order to send a message that further tests will not be accepted,” Spanier said. “This is the quintessential piece of nuclear deterrence - messaging to a potential adversary that their nuclear threats will not be tolerated. DPRK officials took notice of the B-1 sorties and no further nuclear test has occurred since.”

In February the 34th EBS passed the baton to the 9th EBS from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and they are continuing the B-1 presence in the PACOM AOR. The 34th EBS B-1s returned from their deployment and are now being outfitted with the Sustainment-Block 16 upgrade, making the B-1B even more lethal and precise.

 

“The B-1 is a powerhouse that brings a lot to the fight,” said Maj. Joshua Parker, a pilot assigned to the 34th EBS. “With the variety of missions we can execute, the B-1s continue to excel at home station and abroad while undergoing necessary modifications and upgrades to keep them combat ready. With the SB-16 advancement, our B-1s will have even greater combat capability.”

 

While awaiting their next deployment to a forward location, no matter where the AOR, the B-1s continue to train at home, participate in combat training exercises, and provide airpower around the globe.

 

“I’m proud of what we accomplished during our deployment in the PACOM AOR,” Spanier said. “We executed a successful mission while displaying the impressive speed, range, and precision of the B-1 and ensured that our B-1s and Airmen are ready for combat anytime, anywhere.”