Power Projection Practice

The B-1’s deployment to Guam will allow the Lancer crews to practice more missions in the “power projection arena,” Air Force Global Strike Command boss Gen. Robin Rand said Monday at ASC16. It’s important for bombers in the conventional role to “have a diverse and wide range of proficiency in various” mission areas, Rand said. “And The B-1s have been concentrating and focusing largely over the last 16 years in the CENTCOM region … they’ve gotten very, very good at that, but at the expense of maybe not being as good as we would like to see them in the power projection arena.” But he noted the Lancer crews haven’t been without recent successes in the arena, including when B-1s from Ellsworth AFB, S.D., struck targets in Libya in March 2011. He suggested the replacement of the B-52s from Minot AFB, N.D., with the B-1Bs in the US Pacific Command area of operations didn’t reflect a change of conditions there. “I wouldn’t read into the fact that you have a B-1 over there now instead of a B-52,” he said. “No bomber that we have is locked into just one combatant command and one mission only, so I just think this helps our expertise.”