4 US B-1B bombers deploy to Pacific on short notice

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Four B-1B Lancer bombers under 9th Bomb Squadron of United States Air Force (USAF) 7th Bomb Wing from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas hav arrived at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on short notice to conduct missions in the Indo-Pacific theater to support Pacific Air Forces’ training efforts with allies, partners and joint forces; and strategic deterrence missions to reinforce the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific region, the US Pacific Air Forces (USPACAF) said.

A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancer flies over the Philippine Sea, May 6, 2020, as part of Bomber Task Force. The B-1 carries the largest payload of both guided and unguided conventional weapons in the U.S. Air Force inventory. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

US PACAF said the bombers have flown three training missions in the East China Sea since the squadron’s arrival.

It noted that these missions would not have been possible without help from the KC-135 Stratrotankers assigned or deployed to various bases in the PACAF theater.

“When the commander in chief says he wants four B-1B Lancers in the Indo-Pacific, we say ‘they’ll be there’ even in a pandemic,” said Colonel Jose “Ed” Sumangil, 7th BW commander.

“And that’s what we did on very short notice. We were able to make this happen because of the effort as a whole from Team Dyess to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission while sustaining our mission capabilities,” Colonel Sumangil said.

“We’re putting the National Defense Strategy into action,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Stallsworth, 9th EBS commander. “Bombers are anywhere in the world, at any time, for as long as necessary.”

“We’re keeping our adversaries on their toes,” said Stallsworth. “Our adversaries don’t know where we are residing and projecting power from. We can display our air superiority in the Pacific, Europe or anywhere in the world, whenever we want.”