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Ellsworth Airmen wrap up Red Flag 17-1

Nearly 200 Airmen and five B-1 bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base participated in Red Flag 17-1 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada from Jan. 23 to Feb. 10, 2017. The exercise allowed aircrews and pilots from across the globe the opportunity to work together in testing their abilities in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat. (Courtesy photo)

Nearly 200 Airmen and five B-1 bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base participated in Red Flag 17-1 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada from Jan. 23 to Feb. 10, 2017. The exercise allowed aircrews and pilots from across the globe the opportunity to work together in testing their abilities in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat. (Courtesy photo)

A B-1 bomber assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. prepares to fly out to participate in exercise Red Flag 17-1 at Nellis AFB, Nevada, Jan. 20, 2016. Nearly 200 Airmen and five jets assigned to Ellsworth participated in the three-week exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Knechtel)

A B-1 bomber assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. prepares to fly out to participate in exercise Red Flag 17-1 at Nellis AFB, Nevada, Jan. 20, 2016. Nearly 200 Airmen and five jets assigned to Ellsworth participated in the three-week exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Knechtel)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --

Nearly 200 Airmen and five B-1 bombers assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron returned today.

The exercise, which took place at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada from Jan. 23 to Feb. 10, 2017, involved aircrews and pilots from across the Department of Defense and the British and Australian Royal Air Forces working together to test their ability in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat.

“Every day for three weeks, our jets would fly two sorties during the day and two at night,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Diehl, commander of the 37th Bomb Squadron. “This gives our pilots and weapons officers a chance to get comfortable with the newest B-1 upgrade, the sustainment block 16.”

Diehl mentioned the primary purpose of Red Flag is preparing aircrews for the high density threats they may face overseas so they are not overwhelmed, while also getting in some necessary integration training with our allies.

“This exercise not only gives us the chance to learn for ourselves, but to teach others,” Diehl said. “It allows us to prepare our allies in other theaters just what to expect from the B-1.”

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