Defense

September 30, 2015
 

US bomber fleet unifies under 8th Air Force, Air Force Global Strike Command leadership

Maj. Phil Ventura
Barksdale AFB, La.

Two bomb wings from the Air Combat Command ceremonially realigned Sept. 28 to Global Strike Command’s 8th Air Force, bringing all of the service’s bomber fleet under a single command.
The move strengthens the Air Force’s entire long range strike fleet by joining B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, B-52H Stratofortresses from the 28th BW at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., and B-2 Spirits from the 8th Air Force, and will will be official Oct. 1.
“All five bomb wings and the long range strike capability they provide to our nation are stronger today as a result of this homecoming,” said Maj. Gen. Richard Clark, the 8th Air Force commander.
While the transfer of authority involves 63 aircraft and approximately 7,000 personnel, most Airmen will not perceive an immediate change to the way they do business, according to the general. Instead, benefits will be realized over time as crosstalk increases and new opportunities arise for aviators and maintainers in the bomber community.
Still, as a career B-1B command pilot with more than 4,000 hours in the airframe and multiple assignments across the bomber community, Clark realizes that the transfer of commands has caused some apprehension.
“Change of any kind can be tough at first,” Clark said. “However, this realignment makes practical sense and is grounded in our past as an air force.”
Re-enforcing the general’s point, both the 7th and 28th BWs have been assigned to the “Mighty Eighth” at several points — the first time in the late 1940s and most recently as 2002, according to 8th Air Force Historian Lane Callaway.
At the strategic level, the consolidation will “provide a unified voice to maintain the high standards necessary in stewardship of our nation’s bomber forces,” Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said in an April news release announcing the move.
In addition to the consolidation of the bomber fleet at 8th Air Force, the Global Strike Command is also taking lead on the Long Range Strike Bomber program from Air Combat Command and, with the arrival of Gen. Robin Rand in July, was elevated from a three to four star-led command.
Reflecting on all of these changes, Clark said, “Whether it is in the B-1, B-2, or B-52, it is a great time to be a bomber airman. We are standing on the shoulders of giants and have great days ahead.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

HT February 15

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Steven M. Sevenich graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic training also earn four...
 
 

Headlines – February 13, 2019

News Despite Kim summits, North Korea still a threat, say US commanders – U.S.-North Korean diplomatic talks have lessened hostilities between the two countries, but Pyongyang hasn’t shown verifiable denuclearization or change in the capability of its military forces, U.S. military officials in the Pacific said Feb. 12 on Capitol Hill.   Military judge airs...
 
 

News Briefs – February 13, 2019

California governor to draw down guard troops at border California Gov. Gavin Newsom is withdrawing several hundred National Guard troops from the nation’s southern border and changing their mission. The Democrat plans to rescind an earlier authorization for the troops to aid the Trump administration. That agreement was made by former California Gov. Jerry Brown....