2012 year in review

  • Published
  • By Airman Ashley J. Woolridge
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Over the past 12 months, Ellsworth Airmen reached numerous operational milestones, celebrated 70 years of heritage and overcame a variety of extreme challenges.

As Col. Mark Weatherington, 28th Bomb Wing commander, remarked in his message to every Airman in the wing, each of them contributed mightily to the mission of the wing generating expeditionary combat power for America.

Every member of team Ellsworth contributed to B-1 aircrews flying 750 combat sorties over Afghanistan, standing up MQ-9 operations and continuing to fly combat air patrols daily, implementing the first operational B-1 hot pit refueling operations at the base, securing people and resources, caring for Airmen and their families and much more.

Historic cancellation of ORI

"Ellsworth Airmen prove deployment readiness"

Col. Mark Weatherington, 28th Bomb Wing commander announces the cancellation of the operational readiness inspection scheduled for April 2012 after a very successful operational readiness exercise, March 16.

70th Anniversary events

"Ellsworth to celebrate 25th anniversary of B-1B"

Paul Marcello, 28th Bomb Wing historian, explains the history of the B-1 bomber and its continued effectiveness in the hands of Ellsworth Airmen.

"Historic B-25 touches down at Ellsworth"

The Historic Flight Foundation's B-25 Mitchell bomber lands at Ellsworth, April 20, to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, Japan, in 1942.

"Top leaders praise Ellsworth, community at celebration dinner"

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard congratulate more than 500 Airmen, their families and community leaders on the amazing accomplishments of Ellsworth in the past seven decades at the 70th Anniversary celebration dinner, May 19.

New Deployment Center opens, is put to use

"New deployment center increases process efficiency"

The new $16.8 million Deployment Center is finished, May 16, and subsequently used to process 90 Airmen for a Green Flag training exercise.

"Exercise tests new deployment center, Airman readiness"

An operational readiness exercise, June 13, marks the first time all areas of the new Deployment Center are put to full use.

"New deployment center officially opened Aug. 2"

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new, 55,000-square-foot facility takes place, Aug. 2, commemorating the four years of hard work that led to the official opening.

Ellsworth excellence recognized by visiting AF leaders

"Ellsworth welcomes 12th AF leaders"

Lt. Gen. Robin Rand, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, 12th AF (AFSOUTH) command chief, visit several facilities on base and help dedicate the 432nd Attack Squadron's auditorium, July 12 and 13.

"ACC command chief visits Ellsworth"

Chief Master Sgt. Richard Parsons, Air Combat Command command chief, conducts an enlisted all-call during his visit, Aug. 27 to 29, to thank Ellsworth Airmen for their efforts and remind them they are part of the world's greatest Air Force.

"ACC commander visits Ellsworth"

Gen. Mike Hostage, Air Combat Command commander, tours Ellsworth and is introduced to some of the new additions and advancements on base, Oct. 9 and 10.

Big milestones in operations

"Ellsworth B-1 aircrews employ laser JDAMS"

Ellsworth aircrews employ laser joint direct attack munitions for the first time ever during a weapon system evaluation propgram exercise, May 14 to 16.

"Bones share the air with Lobos during exercise"

Ellsworth B-1s move over for South Dakota Air National Guard F-16s to allow the 114th Fighter Wing Fighting Lobos to complete their 2012 Live Drop exercise, Sept. 17 to 21.

"432nd ATKS to begin operations"

Lt. Col. Christopher Clark, 432nd Attack Squadron commander, assumes command of his squadron, setting things in motion for the beginning of MQ-9 Reaper combat operations controlled from Ellsworth, Oct. 4.

Team Ellsworth honored for difficult duties

"Crash recovery teams honored at all call"

The crash of a North Carolina Air National Guard C-130 Hercules, July 1, is remembered during an all call before North Carolina National Guard and North Carolina Air National guard senior leaders thank Ellsworth Airmen for the part they played in the recovery process.