Thirteen-Thousand Miles to Drop a Bomb

A pair of B-1B Lancer bombers recently flew a 30-hour strike training mission from Ellsworth AFB, S.D., hitting ground targets at a Pacific target range on Guam. “The success our aviators have had in Operations Enduring Freedom and Odyssey Dawn does not happen by accident,” said 28th Bomb Wing Commander Col. Kevin Kennedy in a May 21 release. The non-stop, 13,200 mile long-range strike mission tested cooperation between Air Combat Command, US Pacific Command, and US Strategic Command, as well as between the bombers and tankers needed en-route. Ellsworth B-1s have been called on to fly global strike missions direct from South Dakota both during Operation Odyssey Dawn over Libya and Operation Desert Fox in 1998, according to the wing. The successful May 13-14 flight proved the bomber fleet’s “extended lethality” as well as underscoring the “importance of air refueling to expand our global reach,” added Kennedy.