By Staff Sgt. Hannah Malone
Headquarters, Pacific Air Forces
ANDERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AFNS) —
This is the second time Andersen AFB welcomed the Lancers for a Bomber Task Force mission this year, demonstrating the bomber’s ability to rapidly deploy anywhere, anytime, and provide lethal precision global strike options for combatant commanders.
Earlier this year, four B-1Bs returned from Andersen AFB where they conducted a multitude of missions. These missions included aerial integration with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and a hot-pit refueling operation with the Royal Australian Air Force at RAAF Base Darwin, Australia; a B-1B Lancer first.
This time, the aircraft will partner with more allies for several training missions in the Indo-Pacific.
“Bomber Task Force deployments and missions provide key assurances and cooperation with joint and partner allies in the region,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Mount, 37th Bomb Squadron director of operations. “The B-1 is an especially capable platform in this region, being able to travel large distances and bear significant firepower with precision and standoff munitions.”
These missions support the 2018 National Defense Strategy objectives of strategic predictability and operational unpredictability, enabling strategic bombers to operate forward from a broad array of overseas and continental U.S. locations with greater operational resilience.
“This Bomber Task Force demonstrates continued U.S. commitment to the Pacific,” said Col. Joseph Sheffield, 28th Bomb Wing commander. “Not only does it provide our B-1 aircrew invaluable training opportunities with important allies and partners, but it also signals our nation’s unwavering support to them. At the same time, BTFs like this one play a critical role in deterring potential adversaries and challenging their decision calculus.”
Bomber Task Force missions enhance readiness for a variety of Air Force career-fields, training Airmen to respond to any potential crisis or challenge in the Indo-Pacific. These career-fields work simultaneously, often across disciplines, to complete the mission.
“Our maintenance professionals will be responsible for preparing, maintaining, and launching B-1s for long duration missions across the AOR,” Mount said. “Our support personnel will be ensuring that our logistics beddown, cargo, planning networks, flight records and medical requirements run seamlessly. Lastly, our aircrew will fly and integrate across several multi-national exercises to sharpen their warfighting skills specific to the region. We are excited to get started and are thankful to have had a warm welcome with tremendous support and facilities from the Andersen Air Force Base team.”