ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. –
B-1B Lancers assigned to the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth participated in a long-duration CONUS-to-CONUS mission in the Indo-Pacific region to support integration operations with Allies and partners, strategic deterrence missions and advance a free and open Indo-Pacific region, Sept. 10, 2022.
Different types of strategic bombers execute CONUS-to-CONUS missions to bring combat airpower forward into the Indo-Pacific region. Bombers may depart from a broad array of locations to hone greater operational resilience. This is the second long-distance sortie conducted by the 28th Bomb Wing within a 3-week span, showcasing preparedness and the force’s ability to provide long-range strike capabilities across the globe - anytime, anywhere.
“Rapid deployment capabilities are crucial to demonstrating assurance to our Allies and partners,” said Lt. Col. Christopher McConnell, 37th Bomb Squadron commander. “Launching sorties from Ellsworth into the INDOPACOM and EUCOM areas of operations shows the B-1's capability to bring massive firepower quickly into a region. Our Allies and partners love it when we show up in their region and our adversaries take notice every time we do it.”
Missions to the Indo-Pacific region visibly reinforce America’s ironclad commitment to Allies and partners through military employment and demonstrating strategic predictability while remaining operationally unpredictable.
This 29-hour sortie covered approximately 12,000 miles, traveling to the Indo-Pacific and back in a single flight. These long-duration missions prepare aircrew for the physical effects of the demanding, long-distance sorties that enable global strike capabilities.
“Each time we successfully launch aircraft that fly over 24-hour long missions is a huge reflection on the entire Ellsworth team,” said McConnell. “From the maintainers getting aircraft ready, the airfield ops and flight line personnel, to the mission briefers and aircrew that get to experience that long in a B-1.”
The U.S. is committed to upholding a rules-based free and open Indo-Pacific that protects the sovereignty of every nation, ensures the peaceful resolution of disputes without coercion, and promotes free, fair and reciprocal trade as well as preserves freedom of navigation and overflight. The 28th Bomb Wing is committed to maintaining security and remains postured to respond when needed.
“We've done it before, and we'll continue to be ready to do it whenever and wherever needed to deter adversaries or defend ourselves against our enemies,” said McConnell.