B-1s Conduct South China Sea Mission, Demonstrates Global Presence
(Source: US Pacific Air Forces; issued April 30, 2020)
A US Air Force B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., refuels from a KC-135 tanker during a 32-hour round-trip sortie to conduct operations over the Pacific as part of a joint Bomber Task Force (BTF) mission on April 30, 2020. (USAF photo)
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii --- Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers from the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. flew a 32-hour round-trip sortie to conduct operations over the South China Sea as part of a joint U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Bomber Task Force (BTF) mission April 29, 2020.

This operation demonstrates the U.S. Air Force’s dynamic force employment model in line with the National Defense Strategy’s objectives of strategic predictability with persistent bomber presence, assuring allies and partners.

This follows an April 22 CONUS-based bomber bilateral training where the B-1 integrated with six U.S. Air Force F-16s and 15 Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) F-15s near Japan.

USSTRATCOM has conducted BTF missions (previously known as Bomber Assurance and Deterrence missions) since 2014 as a demonstration of the U.S. commitment to collective security, and to integrate with Geographic Combatant Command operations. The first mission included B-52H Stratofortresses and B-2 Spirits traveling from the continental United States to Joint Base Pearl-Harbor Hickam in April 2014.

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