34th Bomb Squadron participates in Indo-Pacific joint exercise

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. David Owsianka
  • Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

A B-1B Lancer assigned to the 34th Bomb Squadron, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, participated in a joint interoperability exercise to test long-range force packaging and demonstrate global reach capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region, Nov. 12.

The 34th BS integrated with the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Dyess AFB, Texas, currently deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and trained alongside other members of the Air Force, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines during the training scenario.

The exercise focused on operational-level, joint force movements, specifically involving defense of high value assets, maritime interdiction and airfield seizure.

“Scenarios like these help increase our lethality, readiness, joint force integration, flexibility and agility that can be used in any real-world scenario,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Stallsworth, 9th EBS commander. “We also had B-1 assets from the continental U.S. participating in the exercise, which demonstrated our bomber force’s global reach and long-range strike capabilities.”

The approximately 25-hour mission enabled the joint military forces to focus on their combat strength, flexibility and readiness through Bomber Task Force and Dynamic Force Employment execution.

“Exercises like this demonstrate and strengthen our ability to concentrate and integrate the capabilities of our joint forces in response to maritime challenges and contingencies,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Joshua Fagan, Carrier Strike Group 5 Air Operations Officer. “The events bring together component staffs and tactical units operating out of Guam, the Continental U.S., Okinawa, and bases across mainland Japan, in concert with surface assets against a threat simulated by live, high-end air and surface forces.”

BTF missions enable Airmen to continuously conduct operations throughout the world at a moment’s notice to help maintain global stability and security while enabling units to become familiar with operations in different regions. DFEs support the National Defense Strategy objectives of strategic and operational unpredictability while providing strategic predictability with persistent bomber presence that assures the U.S.’s commitment to its allies and partners.

“The Defense Department must be prepared to answer the call and respond to any level of conflict throughout the world,” Stallsworth said. “Any time we train alongside our Navy and Marine counterparts it builds a stronger joint team and increases our confidence in one another that is an absolute necessity for effective mission execution.”

Participating in the exercise allowed B-1 aircrews to obtain training that could be imperative in the future missions as they continue to stay committed to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.

“The more we train with other personnel the better we become as a whole military force,” said a 9th EBS Weapons System officer. “This training scenario enabled us to understand how aircrews from different aircraft operate which will help us integrate more easily during future missions with each other.”

This exercise not only improved the capabilities of U.S. military branches working together, it enabled Airmen of the 9th EBS to gain essential knowledge to help them effectively operate in a joint-environment.

“Our aviators have gained priceless experience in a contested and degraded maritime environment where dynamic targeting capabilities and flexibility are critical requirements,” Stallsworth said. “Exercises, like this one, help us develop high end conflict tactics, training and procedures for our Airmen. One of the great aspects of flying in these scenarios is that my aviators can immediately land and explain to the 9th EBS support team how their respective jobs tie directly to enhancing American airpower, joint lethality and readiness.”