B-1B Lancers operate from Diego Garcia for first time in more than 15 years

U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers and approximately 200 Airmen deployed from the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., to Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia to support Pacific Air Forces’ Bomber Task Force missions, recently.

U.S Air Force Capt. Anthony “NERO” Carbone, 37th Bomb Squadron weapons and tactics officer, descends down the ladder of a B-1B Lancer during a Bomber Task Force mission at Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia, Oct. 17, 2021. These missions provide an opportunity to enhance readiness and gives aircrews training necessary to respond to any potential crisis or challenge across the globe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Hannah Malone)

Diego Garcia is an island in the British Indian Ocean Territory.

These BTF missions demonstrate the commitment to U.S. allies and partners through the employment of military force. Multiple sorties will be flown throughout the deployment in support of multiple geographic combatant command objectives and training requirements.

“Bomber Task Force missions, in support of INDOPACOM’s operational and strategic objectives, are extremely valuable to our aircrew because of the multi-country integration opportunities,” said Lt. Col. Ross Hobbs, 37th Bomb Squadron director of operations. “They also give us the opportunity to showcase the unmatched range, speed, and lethality of the B-1.”

The B-1 carries the largest conventional payload of guided and unguided weapons in the U.S. Air Force. Missions such as these allow the ability of speed, surprise, and integration of U.S. Air Force bombers in multiple theaters.

“Global B-1 operations not only provide strategic deterrence to our nation’s adversaries but also strong, palpable assurance to our allies,” said Hobbs. “It’s been over 15 years since B-1s have operated out of this location and the 37th Bomb Squadron is beyond proud to be back. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity and well prepared to meet our nation’s call.”

An Airman from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron marshals in a B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., arriving in support of a Bomber Task Force mission at Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia, Oct. 17. 2021. The Department of Defense remains fully committed to defense and deterrence of any actors that would look to undermine or threaten our shared interests. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Hannah Malone)

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