ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers and personnel from the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron returned to Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, March 5, 2023, after a Bomber Task Force (BTF) deployment to the Indo-Pacific region.
The BTF enhanced the readiness of the B-1 and showcased U.S. interoperability and lethality in the region. Operations during the deployment included multiple integrations with Allies and partners, participation in Cope North 23, and participation in Aero India 23.
“Working with our Allies and partners over this last month allowed us to continue to learn from each other, drive each other to do more, and better the Indo-Pacific team as a whole,” said Capt. Jack Maliska, 34th EBS weapon systems officer.
Cope North provided an optimal environment for each nation to hone vital readiness skills and enhance interoperability among multiple mission areas to include air superiority, interdiction, electronic warfare, tactical airlift, and aerial refueling capabilities.
Aero India 23 was an ideal forum to build stronger relationships between the U.S. and India, as well as with the international community.
“The 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron just completed an incredible deployment with simultaneous, multi-nation B-1 operations validating Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concepts, flying and integrating in the multi-nation exercise COPE NORTH 23, and countless hours of tactical planning and airborne integration with USAF units, US Navy Air and Maritime forces, the Japanese Air Force, and the South Korean Air Force.” said Lt. Col. Ross Hobbs, 34th Bomb Squadron commander. “On top of all of that, the arguably most impressive thing the team accomplished during our deployment, was the in-country support to Aero India 23 in Bengalaru, India where we conducted 3 flyovers in a 3 day span for Asia’s largest airshow crowds.”
The 34th EBS conducted 30 flying sorties in 31 days, showcasing the readiness and capability of the supersonic, swept-wing bomber, and those who support it.
“The 34th EBS, ‘World Famous Thunderbirds’, would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all the personnel and organizations that supported and helped us throughout the planning and execution of this incredible deployment,” said Hobbs. “The team of 34th EBS personnel accomplished truly incredible feats on this deployment and could not have done all the amazing things we did without a full team of operational planners and national-level leadership supporting us the entire way.”
The United States and its Allies and partners are dedicated to the Indo-Pacific region, continuing as a free and open region comprised of nations that adhere to the international rule of law.