Ellsworth hosts foreign attachés visit
By Steven J. Merrill, 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 06, 2019
ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --
Ellsworth rolled out the red carpet for 45 foreign defense attachés and their spouses participating in the 2019 Operations Orientation Program Sept. 4 and 5.
During the visit, designed to showcase the mission being accomplished at the world’s largest B-1B combat wing, the attachés received briefings about the base mission and the 89th Attack Squadron, then had the opportunity to tour a B-1 aircraft and munitions displays, as well as a UH-72 Lakota helicopter provided by the South Dakota National Guard.
“The program – presented on behalf of the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – is intended to provide our nation’s allies with a better understanding of the military, homeland security, defense industry, and related missions, facilities, and capabilities,” said Maj. Jeremy Powell, Defense Intelligence Agency foreign liaison officer. “The visit to Ellsworth was the perfect opportunity to better explain the role the base plays in our nation’s defense, and the strong relationship it has with its partners in the Guard.”
While the attachés learned about the base, their spouses participated in a tour of the Black Hills that included visiting the Crazy Horse Memorial.
“This provides them with the opportunity to better understand what the surrounding area offers for those stationed here,” Powell said, adding that the relationship a military installation has with its neighbors is key to its success.
Later in the day both groups met at America’s shrine of democracy – the Mount Rushmore National Memorial – for a tour that rounded out the day.
Ellsworth was the first stop of the trip that includes stops at Air Force and U.S. Army installations in Nebraska, Missouri and Texas. The base hosted a similar visit in October 2016.