With the addition of the Sniper targeting pod, the B-1B bomber has become a versatile, multi-role platform in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Before the introduction of the Sniper on the aircraft last year, the B-1 was known primarily as a bomber and had to rely mostly on “extremely accurate coordinates” from offboard sensors to engage targets, said Lt. Col. Jen Fullmer, commander of the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, a B-1 unit that operates out of an air base in Southwest Asia. Now equipped with Sniper, B-1 aircrews can generate their own highly accurate coordinates and use them to attack a target or pass them to other strike platforms, she said. And, the bomber is “now heavily engaged in missions such as [improvised explosive device] emplacement search, convoy support, and armed overwatch of friendly positions,” Fullmer said. The B-1-Sniper tandem was first used in combat last August. The enemy is not unaware of the aircraft’s increased prowess, as sometimes just its arrival over the scene of a ground skirmish will cause the enemy to disengage. (379th AEW report by SrA. Brok McCarthy)
The first five days of Basic Military Training will change to better educate trainees on sleep hygiene, stress management, nutrition, and physical training, a move which officials hope will better prepare enlisted Airmen and Guardians for the rigors of life in service.