B-1 bombers from Ellsworth AFB, S.D., displayed their versatility in the maritime role by dropping sea mines over Pacific Coast training ranges in a series of drills in early June. Personnel from Naval Munitions Command Seal Beach, Calif., assembled the Mk-62 and Mk-65 Quick Strike mines, which airmen from the 28th Munitions Squadron then loaded on the bombers, according to Ellsworth’s June 10 release. “You don’t want to have to be in a situation where you have to deploy mines, but if the threat is there, you want to know you and everyone you are working with knows what they’re doing,” said Navy minesman Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy Frick. “We worked really well with the airmen who took part in this build,” he added. The interoperability exercise was the first time Ellsworth’s B-1s flew mining sorties in several years, states the release. (Ellsworth report by SrA. Yash Rojas)
Supply chain and vanishing vendor issues make supporting old nuclear systems increasingly difficult, Global Strike Command’s logistics and engineering chief Brig. Gen. Kenyon K. Bell said. Additive printing will be a big help but can be hampered by bureaucracy.