Flying Bones for 20 Years:

Airmen at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., recently heralded 20 years of operating and maintaining the B-1B bomber, which first arrived at the base in 1987. SSgt. Eric Bolt recounts some of the history of the Bone at Ellsworth and elsewhere. SMSgt. Don Small, 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production superintendent, calls the B-1, the “weapon of choice” for US Central Command Air Forces. He said, “The B-1 comes out of nowhere, and the enemy won’t know what hit them until the aircraft is gone.” Lt. Col. Kurt Hunsaker, 37th Bomb Squadron commander, believes the conversion of the B-1 from a nuclear platform to a conventional one “opened numerous doors.” He added, “The B-1 could finally start to live up to its potential.”