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Ellsworth B-1s conduct BTF mission over Aegean Sea

Aviators from the 37th Bomb Squadron greet each other before the start of a Bomber Task Force mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 6, 2021.

Aviators from the 37th Bomb Squadron greet each other before the start of a Bomber Task Force mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 6, 2021. Bomber Task Force missions offer aircrews the opportunity to integrate with allied partners and ensure regional security. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Bennett)

Light snow falls on a B-1B Lancer being prepared for a Bomber Task Force mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 6, 2021.

Light snow falls on a B-1B Lancer being prepared for a Bomber Task Force mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 6, 2021. The long-range, multi-role, heavy bomber is capable of carrying the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory in all types of weather conditions, anywhere on the globe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Bennett)

Airmen from the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron prepare to fuel a B-1B Lancer at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 5, 2021, in preparation for a Bomber Task Force mission.

Airmen from the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron prepare to fuel a B-1B Lancer at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 5, 2021, in preparation for a Bomber Task Force mission. Capable of being air refueled, the multi-role B-1B can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision munitions against any adversary anywhere in the world at any time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Bennett)

A B-1B Lancer taxis down the runway at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., after completing a Bomber Task Force mission, April 7, 2021.

A B-1B Lancer taxis down the runway at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., after completing a Bomber Task Force mission, April 7, 2021. Strategic bomber missions contribute to the joint lethality and readiness of the U.S. Air Force and its allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quentin Marx)

A crew chief assigned to the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron marshals a B-1B Lancer onto the apron upon return from a Bomber Task Force Mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 7, 2021.

A crew chief assigned to the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron marshals a B-1B Lancer onto the apron upon return from a Bomber Task Force Mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 7, 2021. The B-1B is a long-range, multi-role bomber that carries the largest payload of precision guided and unguided munitions in the Air Force inventory. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quentin Marx)

An aviator from the 37th Bomb Squadron steps down from a B-1B Lancer after returning from a Bomber Task Force mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 7, 2021.

An aviator from the 37th Bomb Squadron steps down from a B-1B Lancer after returning from a Bomber Task Force mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 7, 2021. Two B-1s assigned to the 28th Bomb Wing flew a 28-hour round-trip sortie, conducting operations over the Aegean Sea to demonstrate the capabilities of the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command’s strategic bomber aircraft and ensure regional security. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quentin Marx)

A B-1B Lancer takes off in support of a Bomber Task Force mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 6, 2021.

A B-1B Lancer takes off in support of a Bomber Task Force mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 6, 2021. Bomber Task Force missions allow the U.S., to routinely and visibly demonstrate commitment to our Allies and partners through the global employment of our military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Bennett)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --

A pair of B-1B Lancers launched from their home station of Ellsworth AFB on April 6 to conduct a long range mission to the Aegean Sea.

 

The single-day Bomber Task Force (BTF) mission spanning about 28 hours took the supersonic bombers and crews nearly 12,000 nautical miles during the round-trip operation.

“This long duration dynamic force employment mission is a clear demonstration in the role Team Ellsworth plays in helping Air Force Global Strike Command clearly demonstrate the capabilities of America’s strategic bomber aircraft and focus on ensuring security in that region,” said Col. Daniel Hoadley, 28th Bomb Wing vice commander. “I could not be more proud of the way our Airmen worked together to generate the aircraft in some harsh weather conditions, and reaffirm that nothing can stop us from providing combat power – anytime, anywhere, under any conditions.”

The area around the world’s largest B-1B combat wing was being hit with a heavy mix of rain and snow along with low wind chill conditions the day of the mission. The long-range, multi-role, B-1 is capable of carrying the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory in all types of weather conditions, anywhere on the globe.

This military operation was part of the U.S. European Command’s recurring and high-visibility BTF missions and clearly demonstrates the far-reaching capabilities of America’s strategic bomber aircraft. The bomber aircrews overflew some 15 European nations before reaching the Aegean Sea, demonstrating to Ally and partner nations alike that the U.S. remains steadfast in its commitment to European security.

“U.S. security commitments to the NATO Alliance remain ironclad,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Lance Landrum, USEUCOM Director of Operations. “Today’s Bomber Task Force mission is another in a long list of examples of how America’s military forces sustain, readdress and improve interoperability with Allies and partners and demonstrates our nation’s ability to deliver commitments from across the Atlantic.”

BTF missions have occurred in the European theater since 2018, with more than 200 sorties coordinated amongst Allies and partners. BTF missions are an integral part of a long-term campaign designed to emphasize readiness and interoperability with Allies and partners. (Portions of this article include information provided by U.S. European Command.)

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