The B-1B bomber maintainers deployed to Southwest Asia from Ellsworth AFB, S.D., have managed to launch more than 350 combat sorties, achieving an overall 98.1 percent mission effectiveness rate. And, that’s not all. One of the 37th Bomb Squadron B-1s suffered a total electrical system shut down as it returned to base following a combat sortie, prompting the maintainers to apply a “very aggressive” repair in just 13 days, says SMSgt Brad Whittle, 37th AMU flight chief. The bomber’s lead electronics and environmental mechanic, SSgt. Fernando Rosado, notes that after its repair, the B-1B flew a 12-hour mission with no maintenance problems.
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."