7th Bomb Wing Airmen and B-1s support 2020 BTFs
By Airman 1st Class Colin Hollowell, 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 09, 2020
DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Earlier this year U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command kicked off the new Bomber Task Force deployment structure.
Recently, the U.S. Air Force has shifted the primary defense focus to preparing for future potential conflict against peer threats in alignment with the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS).
In response, AFGSC has prioritized adjusting the locations and the way that bombers deploy to better train and prepare for the future landscape of warfare.
The BTF missions provide Airmen the opportunity to conduct joint-training with U.S. allies and partners.
“U.S. Strategic Command units regularly conduct training with, and in, support of all Geographic Combatant Commands. In our case, this takes the form of Bomber Task Force missions which provide our Strikers opportunities to integrate with allies and partners and to become familiar with multiple forward areas of operation,” said Gen. Tim Ray, AFGSC and Air Forces Strategic-Air commander. “All of this feeds into a larger effort to assure allies and partners, and to help maintain global stability and security.”
“BTF missions are routine demonstrations of the credibility of our forces to address a diverse and uncertain security environment, and particularly AFGSC’s ability to deliver lethal, long-range strike options across the globe anytime, anywhere,” Ray said.
In May this year, approximately 200 Airmen assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, for the first BTF in the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility. While there, they conducted approximately 385 flight hours and executed over 30 training missions; 12 of which were higher-headquarters directed, historically completing 100% of the assigned missions.
Now, the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron and 7th BW Airmen have returned to Andersen AFB to participate in another BTF to help support a free and open Indo-Pacific region while also testing and redefining B-1B Lancer capabilities.
“Our first BTF in May proved the concept that B-1s could quickly deploy and operate halfway across the globe,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Stallsworth, 9th EBS commander. “Now, reflecting on Dyess and Ellsworth’s last three successful B-1 BTF’s to the Indo-Pacific region, we have shown that the B-1B is back in business; providing combatant commanders with consistent airpower, desired effects and, ultimately, options.”
Stallsworth continued, “This is a clear and strong deterrent message to our adversaries and a reassuring message to our steadfast allies and partners.”
With the landscape of war constantly changing, it is crucial to frequently and consistently adapt to the shifting of potential climates of conflict, which is why it is important to continuously train to support any mission, regardless of the time or location.
“The B-1B community has a proven history of lethality from the Cold War to the war on terrorism, and now we are proving ourselves once again at the tactical and strategic levels with the next phase of global operations--Bomber Task Force,” said Stallsworth. “While the last year has been dynamic and turbulent, the entire B-1B crew force and supporting agencies are excited about conducting BTFs around the world.”