Monday, July 6, 2020

U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers conduct 24-hour mission in Indo-Pacific region

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The U.S. Air Force has announced that two B-1B Lancer bombers assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron have completed a 24-hour mission that included a large force exercise.

Air Force officials said B-1B aircrews completed a 24-hour mission to support Pacific Air Forces’ training efforts with allies, partners and joint forces; and strategic deterrence missions to reinforce the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific region.

“The 9th EBS deployed to Guam from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, along with 200 Airmen assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess AFB, Texas, as part of a Bomber Task Force and is supporting Pacific Air Forces’ strategic deterrence missions and commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.,” the Air Force said.

B-1B Lancers returned to the Indo-Pacific region in May 1.

In line with the National Defense Strategy’s objectives of strategic predictability and operational unpredictability, the Bomber Task Force enables a mix of different types of strategic bombers to operate forward in the Indo-Pacific region from a broader array of overseas and Continental U.S. locations with greater operational resilience.

“The B-1 provides all of the training opportunities which the B-52 [Stratofortress] provided, plus the ability to train to advanced stand-off, anti-surface warfare with [Long Range Anti-Surface Missiles],” said Lt. Col. Frank, Welton, PACAF’s chief of operations force management.

The B-1 can carry the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the U.S. Air Force.

“The B-1 is able to carry a larger payload of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles and a larger payload of 2,000-pound class Joint Direct Attack Munitions,” Welton said. “Additionally, the B-1 is able to carry the LRASM, giving it an advanced stand-off, counter-ship capability. It also has an advanced self-protection suite and is able to transit at supersonic speeds to enhance offensive and defensive capabilities.”

The last time the B-1s were deployed to the region was in 2017. Bombers from the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron supported missions from Andersen AFB, conducting multiple sequenced bilateral missions with the Republic of Korea Air Force and the Japan Air Self Defense Force.

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