Striking ISIS’ Wallet

For the B-1 Lancer crew, it was just another mission, but for ISIS, it was a crippling blow. The bomber from the 37th Bomb Squadron at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., was the lead aircraft to strike oil fields outside of Raqqa, Syria, on Dec. 19, 2015, and put a dent in ISIS’ revenues, according to a 28th Bomb Wing release. The loss of revenue caused ISIS to cut their fighters’ pay. BONE 11, which flew out of Al Udeid AB, Qatar, coordinated with two other B-1s, F-15E Strike Eagles, F-16 Fighting Falcons, and F-4 Phantoms to carry out the mission. “We didn’t know exactly what we were setting out to do,” the lead pilot said, according to the release. “We knew it was bigger, but when we were up in the jet, it was just another mission for us.” For their actions, the four-man crew of BONE 11 received the Air Force Association’s Gen. Curtis E. LeMay Award for being the service’s best bomber crew of 2015 at the Air, Space & Cyber conference in September. “It was a tremendous honor,” the pilot said, according to the release. “We knew we flew a great sortie with a significant outcome in the fight against the enemy.” (See also: Obliterating Oil Operations.)