ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --
The Director of Operations and Communications for Air Force Global Strike Command visited the base July 11 - 14, to experience the might of the B-1 bomber and learn more about the vital mission being accomplished at the world’s largest B-1 combat wing.
During his visit, Maj. Gen. Ferdinand Stoss III – who provides policy and guidance, and advocates for resources for AFGSC’s nuclear, conventional and cyber forces – participated in a B-1 training mission, visited several of the base’s key facilities and met many of the Airmen serving at Ellsworth.
“I haven’t been to Ellsworth since I was assigned here in 1992,” said Stoss, who served as an intercontinental ballistic missile combat crew member and evaluation missile crew commander at Ellsworth from July 1998 to May 1992. “So this trip has been long overdue for me.”
Stoss went through proper B-1 takeoff and landing procedures with the aircrew and was outfitted with aircrew flight equipment prior to his flight.
“He wanted to see how we do things, how we train, and how we execute our missions,” Capt. Matthew, 37th Bomb Squadron scheduling flight commander, said. “In his position, he provides oversight for many different platforms such as the B-52 and Minuteman missiles. This allowed him a first-hand look at the B-1.”
Aside from the training flight, Stoss toured the new Advanced Manufacturing Rapid Repair Facility (Cold Spray), where he learned of the cost-effective, emerging technology and how it improves the approach to effectively and efficiently repair aircraft parts. The innovative technology saves the Air Force money at a rate of approximately 20-to-1 return on investment, while also improving aircraft availability and mission capability rates.
The general also toured the Maj. Gen. Joseph D. Brown Mission Training Center, where he received a briefing on the Powder River Training Complex. The 28,000-square-mile area of special use airspace used to better prepare and train aviators to support full spectrum operations through realistic scenarios.
“This is a pinnacle unit and its reputation precedes it,” Stoss said of the 28th Bomb Wing. “It has been an outstanding organization for decades, stretching back all the way to the Strategic Air Command era and continues to be every day. Its legacy and combat record is clearly exceptional and it’s great to see this awesome organization.”