It Must Be Election Year or How I Saved the B-1B

It Must Be Election Year or How I Saved the B-1B: The Air Force lost its bid to remove B-1B bombers from Ellsworth AFB, S.D., when the BRAC commission overturned the recommendation to consolidate them at Dyess AFB, Tex. However, on the theory that a base or forces are never safe for long, Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota issued a press release last week claiming victory for securing “an additional $5 million in the defense spending bill” to go toward enhancing the bomber’s secure communications. The money, he says, will start the process of replacing the older communications equipment with Demand Assigned Multiple Access satellite data access through ARC-210 radios. Johnson was also one of the lawmakers behind the decision to force the Air Force to remove at least seven B-1Bs from the retirement roll.