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Air Force deploys first complete Block 16 B-1s to Pacific

Maj. James Silva (left) and Lt. Col. Steven Myers complete a flight in the first newly-upgraded operational B-1B Lancer Jan. 21, 2014, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The B-1B was recently upgraded with an Integrated Battle Station, which is a combination of three different upgrades, including a Fully Integrated Data Link, Vertical Situation Display upgrade and Central Integrated System upgrade. Silva and Myers are B-1B pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Richard Ebensberger)

Maj. James Silva (left) and Lt. Col. Steven Myers complete a flight in the first newly-upgraded operational B-1B Lancer Jan. 21, 2014, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The B-1B was recently upgraded with an Integrated Battle Station, which is a combination of three different upgrades, including a Fully Integrated Data Link, Vertical Situation Display upgrade and Central Integrated System upgrade. Silva and Myers are B-1B pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Richard Ebensberger)

A B-1B Lancer takes off from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Feb. 4, 2017. Dyess B-1s headed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, following more than 300 Airmen from the 7th Operations Support Squadron, 7th Maintenance Group and the 9th Bomb Squadron that deployed a few days earlier. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quay Drawdy)

A B-1B Lancer takes off from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Feb. 4, 2017. Dyess B-1s headed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, following more than 300 Airmen from the 7th Operations Support Squadron, 7th Maintenance Group and the 9th Bomb Squadron that deployed a few days earlier. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quay Drawdy)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Shobha Parker, 7th Logistics Readiness Squadron traffic management section chief, (left) processes Senior Airman Jose Martinez, 7th Logistics Readiness Squadron, for deployment at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 31, 2017. Dyess Airmen deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to relieve the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily Copeland)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Shobha Parker, 7th Logistics Readiness Squadron traffic management section chief, (left) processes Senior Airman Jose Martinez, 7th Logistics Readiness Squadron, for deployment at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 31, 2017. Dyess Airmen deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to relieve the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily Copeland)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, arrives Feb. 6, 2017, at Andersen AFB, Guam. The 9th EBS is taking over U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence operations from the 34th EBS, assigned to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. The B-1B's blended wing/body configuration, variable-geometry wings and turbofan afterburning engines, combine to provide long range, maneuverability and high speed while enhancing survivability. The rotation of aircraft in support is specifically designed to demonstrate the U.S.’s commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and enhance routine transiting in international airspace throughout the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger/Released)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, arrives Feb. 6, 2017, at Andersen AFB, Guam. The 9th EBS is taking over U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence operations from the 34th EBS, assigned to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. The B-1B's blended wing/body configuration, variable-geometry wings and turbofan afterburning engines, combine to provide long range, maneuverability and high speed while enhancing survivability. The rotation of aircraft in support is specifically designed to demonstrate the U.S.’s commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and enhance routine transiting in international airspace throughout the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger/Released)

More than 300 personnel take their seats in a Boeing 767 at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 31, 2017. Airmen from the 7th Operations Support Squadron, 7th Maintenance Group and the 9th Bomb Squadron deployed to Guam with B-1B Lancers to replace the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quay Drawdy)

More than 300 personnel take their seats in a Boeing 767 at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 31, 2017. Airmen from the 7th Operations Support Squadron, 7th Maintenance Group and the 9th Bomb Squadron deployed to Guam with B-1B Lancers to replace the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quay Drawdy)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, lands Feb. 6, 2017, at Andersen AFB, Guam. The 9th EBS is taking over U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence operations from the 34th EBS, assigned to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. The B-1B's blended wing/body configuration, variable-geometry wings and turbofan afterburning engines, combine to provide long range, maneuverability and high speed while enhancing survivability. The rotation of aircraft in support is specifically designed to demonstrate the U.S.’s commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and enhance routine transiting in international airspace throughout the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger/Released)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, lands Feb. 6, 2017, at Andersen AFB, Guam. The 9th EBS is taking over U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence operations from the 34th EBS, assigned to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. The B-1B's blended wing/body configuration, variable-geometry wings and turbofan afterburning engines, combine to provide long range, maneuverability and high speed while enhancing survivability. The rotation of aircraft in support is specifically designed to demonstrate the U.S.’s commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and enhance routine transiting in international airspace throughout the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger/Released)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, arrives Feb. 6, 2017, at Andersen AFB, Guam. The 9th EBS is taking over U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence operations from the 34th EBS, assigned to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. The B-1B's blended wing/body configuration, variable-geometry wings and turbofan afterburning engines, combine to provide long range, maneuverability and high speed while enhancing survivability. The rotation of aircraft in support is specifically designed to demonstrate the U.S.’s commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and enhance routine transiting in international airspace throughout the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger/Released)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, arrives Feb. 6, 2017, at Andersen AFB, Guam. The 9th EBS is taking over U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence operations from the 34th EBS, assigned to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. The B-1B's blended wing/body configuration, variable-geometry wings and turbofan afterburning engines, combine to provide long range, maneuverability and high speed while enhancing survivability. The rotation of aircraft in support is specifically designed to demonstrate the U.S.’s commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and enhance routine transiting in international airspace throughout the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger/Released)

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – --

More than 300 Airmen assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to execute the first-ever Block 16 deployment for the B-1B Lancer Jan. 31.

Aircrew, maintenance and support personnel will generate B-1 sorties to demonstrate the continuing U.S. commitment to stability and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region, providing commanders with a strategic power projection platform.

“The Block 16 makes the B-1 an all-round more capable aircraft,” said Capt. Matt*, 9th Bomb Squadron member. “With the upgrades, we are able to have a say in the fight and increase the connectivity between aircraft on a built-in network, making the B-1 more lethal, more deadly.”

This enhanced capability not only aids the crew of the B-1, but allows other military assets to be better prepared against enemy threats.  

“The mission of the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron on this deployment is to project combat airpower for U.S. Pacific Command and to work with our allies within the region,” said Maj. Eric*, 7th Operation Support Squadron member. “They’ll fly a mixture of local training missions and power projection sorties, while also conducting coalition training to enhance the warfighting ability in the PACOM area of responsibility.”

The Airmen were joined by several B-1s and personnel later in the week, replacing Airmen assigned to the 34th Bomb Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.

7th Bomb Wing Airmen have been training for several months by taking part in major large force exercises across the U.S. to prepare for this deployment.

“Every deployment and mission is different,” Maj. Eric* said. “The importance of this mission—this deployment—is to project American airpower and work with our allies within PACOM. We’ll be training together and improving those relationships.”

The Airmen of Team Dyess are tasked to bring long-range capability, speed, flexibility and modern defense avionics systems to the fight. As a multi-role heavy bomber, the B-1 can fly more than 900 miles per hour and carry more than 75,000 pounds of munitions.

“This deployment is a completely new mission for us,” said Master Sgt. Dawn Garza, 7th Maintenance Group plans and scheduling section chief. “After contributing to Air Combat Command for several years, this is our first deployment under Air Force Global Strike Command’s mission.” 

Garza said it was a huge difference going from ACC, who trains, equips and maintains combat-ready forces, to AFGSC who provides the combat-ready forces through strategic nuclear deterrence and global strike operations.

At the conclusion of this rotation, Team Dyess Airmen are scheduled to be replaced by the 37th Bomb Squadron assigned to Ellsworth AFB.

“The 7th BW did a fantastic job in a short amount of time to get everyone out the door,” said Maj. Justin Croteau, 9th BS chief of mobility. “Without the hard work of the wing and the base as a whole, the objectives we are supporting in the PACOM region wouldn’t have been possible.”

 

*Editor’s note: Members’ rank and first name given, last name is withheld for security purposes.

 


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