U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers complete Indo-Pacific Bomber Task Force mission

  • Published
  • By 2nd. Lt. Michael Caggiano
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

B-1B Lancers, assigned to 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, returned to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., July 4, after completing a Bomber Task Force mission to the Indo-Pacific.

34th EBS executed a multitude of missions, including cooperation with key allies and partners. These missions included aerial integration with the Japanese Air Self Defense Force, and hot pit refueling operations with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) at RAAF Base Darwin; a B-1B Lancer first.

Accomplishing these missions further demonstrates the B-1B Lancer’s capability of executing Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concepts by utilizing minimal personnel and operating out of non-standard locations.

“As we practice and become more proficient at ACE, we enhance INDOPACOM’s ability to counter any regional adversaries or threats they pose to the freedom of free nations,” said Lt. Col. Ross Hobbs, Commander of 34th EBS. “The 34th EBS Operations, Maintenance, and Support personnel have absolutely crushed it during this deployment and I couldn’t be more proud of the entire team,” said Hobbs.

Over the course of the deployment, the 34th EBS “World Famous Thunderbirds” flew over 300 flight hours supporting allied integration and adversarial deterrence missions.

“This deployment was an amazing opportunity to demonstrate the B-1’s capabilities in the INDOPACOM (area of responsibility),” said Capt. Joel Hoyer, a weapons systems officer assigned to 34th EBS, “it’s been great to see all the training that we’ve accomplished at Ellsworth be applied to actual operations abroad.”

With a minimal footprint, and in accordance with ACE concepts, the unit flew 30 sorties in 30 days; a direct result of excellence in maintenance operations by the 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit.

“I feel very fortunate to be here with the crew we have,” said Tech. Sgt. Cody Greenwalt-Walker, a crew chief for the 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, “I couldn’t be more proud of the work we’ve accomplished.”

The U.S. continues to demonstrate its commitment to allies and partners through Bomber Task Force missions to the Indo-Pacific, showcasing U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command’s ability to deliver lethal, ready, long-range strike options to Geographic Combatant Commanders anytime, anywhere.