B-1s, B-52s Conduct First Integrated Standoff Weapons Drill

B-52s and B-1Bs recently conducted the first integrated standoff weapons exercise to share tactics, techniques and procedures and to improve their capabilities to employ the long-range munitions. B-52s from the 23rd Bomb Squadron at Minot AFB, N.D., and B-1s from the 34th Bomb Squadron flew a total of 15 missions out of the 34th BS’s home at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., using the nearby Powder River Training Complex. “The overall goal was to learn from each other in how we use our standoff weapons to determine the most effective way to employ these weapons with each other,” Capt. Christopher McConnell, a 28th Operations Support Squadron wing weapons officer, said in an Air Force release. “The standoff weapon capability of our aircraft is a critical asset for us to have,” said Capt. Joseph Manglitz, a 23rd BS B-52 pilot. Standoff weapons allow aircraft to strike targets from outside an adversary’s air defenses. The Air Force employs the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon, with a 73-mile range, and the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, with a range up to 500 miles. McConnell said they hope to make the integrated exercise a regular event for the bomber community.