US bombers train in East China Sea, integrate with Japanese force


B-1B Lancer bombers under 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron of United States Air Force (USAF) 7th Bomb Wing conducted training over East China Sea and integrated with Japan Air Self Defense Force on May 12.

A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancer conducts a training mission in the vicinity of Japan where they integrated with Japan Air Self Defense Force assets, May 12, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

According to US Pacific Air Forces, the 9th EBS is deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, as part of a Bomber Task Force and is supporting Pacific Air Forces’ strategic deterrence missions and commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.

The US Air Force deployed the 9th EBS to Indo-Pacific theater in early May.

“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.”