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Ellsworth B-1 plays key role in US, Japan bomber-fighter integration operations

A B-1B Lancer is towed to a parking spot on the apron of the airfield at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 22, 2020.

A B-1B Lancer is towed to a parking spot on the apron of the airfield at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 22, 2020. The B-1 and its aircrew returned from a nearly 29-hour round-trip sortie where it integrated with the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) in the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) area of responsibility to conduct a Bomber Task Force (BTF) mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)

Maintainers assigned to the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron fasten a panel on a B-1B Lancer at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 22, 2020.

Maintainers assigned to the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron fasten a panel on a B-1B Lancer at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 22, 2020. The B-1 recently returned from a sortie where it flew from the continental United States, into the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) area of responsibility and back, demonstrating the airframe and its crews can deploy from any location and provide combat power – anytime, anywhere. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)

An aircrew member passes off the engine covering of a B-1B Lancer to maintainers assigned to the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 22, 2020.

An aircrew member passes off the engine covering of a B-1B Lancer to maintainers assigned to the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 22, 2020. The B-1 and its aircrew launched from the continental United States to integrate with the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) to conduct bilateral and theater familiarization. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)

A B-1B Lancer touches down at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., after completing a nearly 29-hour round-trip sortie to the Pacific theater of operations April 22, 2020.

A B-1B Lancer touches down at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., after completing a nearly 29-hour round-trip sortie to the Pacific theater of operations April 22, 2020. The sortie demonstrated the U.S. Air Force’s dynamic force employment model and tested the airframe’s ability to integrate with multiple Air Operations Centers in multiple areas of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Jones)

A maintainer assigned to the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron wipes down the ladder of a B-1B Lancer at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 22, 2020.

A maintainer assigned to the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron wipes down the ladder of a B-1B Lancer at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 22, 2020. Maintainers wipe down high-touch areas in between sorties and stress following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and sound hygiene practices. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Misawa Air Base, Japan, conducted bilateral joint training with Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-2s and F-15s off the coast of Northern Japan, April 22, 2020. U.S. Strategic Command's bomber forces regularly conduct combined theater security cooperation engagements with allies and partners, demonstrating U.S. capability to command, control and conduct bomber missions around the world. (Courtesy photo by the Japan Air-Self Defense Force)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Misawa Air Base, Japan, conducted bilateral joint training with Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-2s and F-15s off the coast of Northern Japan, April 22, 2020. U.S. Strategic Command's bomber forces regularly conduct combined theater security cooperation engagements with allies and partners, demonstrating U.S. capability to command, control and conduct bomber missions around the world. (Courtesy photo by the Japan Air-Self Defense Force)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Misawa Air Base, Japan, conducted bilateral joint training with Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-2s and F-15s off the coast of Northern Japan, April 22, 2020. U.S. Strategic Command's bomber forces regularly conduct combined theater security cooperation engagements with allies and partners, demonstrating U.S. capability to command, control and conduct bomber missions around the world. (Courtesy photo by the Japan Air-Self Defense Force)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Misawa Air Base, Japan, conducted bilateral joint training with Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-2s and F-15s off the coast of Northern Japan, April 22, 2020. U.S. Strategic Command's bomber forces regularly conduct combined theater security cooperation engagements with allies and partners, demonstrating U.S. capability to command, control and conduct bomber missions around the world. (Courtesy photo by the Japan Air-Self Defense Force)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Misawa Air Base, Japan, conducted bilateral joint training with Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-2s off the coast of Northern Japan, April 22, 2020. U.S. Strategic Command's bomber forces regularly conduct combined theater security cooperation engagements with allies and partners, demonstrating U.S. capability to command, control and conduct bomber missions around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Misawa Air Base, Japan, conducted bilateral joint training with Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-2s off the coast of Northern Japan, April 22, 2020. U.S. Strategic Command's bomber forces regularly conduct combined theater security cooperation engagements with allies and partners, demonstrating U.S. capability to command, control and conduct bomber missions around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Misawa Air Base, Japan, conducted bilateral joint training with Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-2s off the coast of Northern Japan, April 22, 2020. U.S. Strategic Command's bomber forces regularly conduct combined theater security cooperation engagements with allies and partners, demonstrating U.S. capability to command, control and conduct bomber missions around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Misawa Air Base, Japan, conducted bilateral joint training with Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-2s off the coast of Northern Japan, April 22, 2020. U.S. Strategic Command's bomber forces regularly conduct combined theater security cooperation engagements with allies and partners, demonstrating U.S. capability to command, control and conduct bomber missions around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Misawa Air Base, Japan, conducted bilateral joint training with Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-2s off the coast of Northern Japan, April 22, 2020. U.S. Strategic Command's bomber forces regularly conduct combined theater security cooperation engagements with allies and partners, demonstrating U.S. capability to command, control and conduct bomber missions around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)
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A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Misawa Air Base, Japan, conducted bilateral joint training with Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-2s off the coast of Northern Japan, April 22, 2020. U.S. Strategic Command's bomber forces regularly conduct combined theater security cooperation engagements with allies and partners, demonstrating U.S. capability to command, control and conduct bomber missions around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Misawa Air Base, Japan, conducted bilateral joint training with Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-2s off the coast of Northern Japan, April 22, 2020. U.S. Strategic Command's bomber forces regularly conduct combined theater security cooperation engagements with allies and partners, demonstrating U.S. capability to command, control and conduct bomber missions around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)
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A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. and F-16 Fighting Falcons from Misawa Air Base, Japan, conducted bilateral joint training with Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-2s off the coast of Northern Japan, April 22, 2020. U.S. Strategic Command's bomber forces regularly conduct combined theater security cooperation engagements with allies and partners, demonstrating U.S. capability to command, control and conduct bomber missions around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer thunders down the runway at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 21, 2020. The B-1 bomber flew from the continental United States and integrated with the Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force or JASDF) to conduct bilateral and theater familiarization training near Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)
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A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer thunders down the runway at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 21, 2020. The B-1 bomber flew from the continental United States and integrated with the Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force or JASDF) to conduct bilateral and theater familiarization training near Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer is marshaled to the taxiway at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 21, 2020. The B-1B’s speed and superior handling characteristics allow it to seamlessly integrate in mixed force packages. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)
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A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer is marshaled to the taxiway at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 21, 2020. The B-1B’s speed and superior handling characteristics allow it to seamlessly integrate in mixed force packages. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Lance Huston, a 37th Bomb Squadron weapons systems officer, prepares to board a B-1B Lancer at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 21, 2020. Aircrew from the 37th BS flew a B-1B Lancer from the continental United States and integrated with the Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force or JASDF) to conduct bilateral and theater familiarization training near Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)
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U.S. Air Force Capt. Lance Huston, a 37th Bomb Squadron weapons systems officer, prepares to board a B-1B Lancer at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 21, 2020. Aircrew from the 37th BS flew a B-1B Lancer from the continental United States and integrated with the Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force or JASDF) to conduct bilateral and theater familiarization training near Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer stands ready prior to departing Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 21, 2020. Carrying the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory, the multi-mission B-1 is the backbone of America’s long-range bomber force. The Department of Defense maintains command and control of its bomber force for any mission, anywhere in the world, at any time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)
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A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer stands ready prior to departing Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 21, 2020. Carrying the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory, the multi-mission B-1 is the backbone of America’s long-range bomber force. The Department of Defense maintains command and control of its bomber force for any mission, anywhere in the world, at any time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin K. Marx)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer taxis prior to departing Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 21, 2020. The B-1 bomber flew from the continental United States and integrated with the Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force or JASDF) to conduct bilateral and theater familiarization training near Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Jones)
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A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer taxis prior to departing Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 21, 2020. The B-1 bomber flew from the continental United States and integrated with the Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force or JASDF) to conduct bilateral and theater familiarization training near Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Jones)

Aviators from the 37th Bomb Squadron receive a final mission briefing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 21, 2020. The crew flew a B-1B Lancer from the continental United States and integrated with the Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force or JASDF) to conduct bilateral and theater familiarization training near Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Jones)
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Aviators from the 37th Bomb Squadron receive a final mission briefing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 21, 2020. The crew flew a B-1B Lancer from the continental United States and integrated with the Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force or JASDF) to conduct bilateral and theater familiarization training near Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Jones)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --

In a demonstration of the U.S. Air Force’s dynamic force employment model, a B-1B Lancer assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron launched from Ellsworth and integrated with the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) to conduct bilateral and theater familiarization training near Japan April 22.

The B-1 aircrew flew the nearly 29-hour, round-trip sortie to the Indo-Pacific and teamed up with six U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons, seven JASDF F-2s and eight JASDF F-15s over the Draughon Range as part of a joint U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) and U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Bomber Task Force (BTF) mission before returning home.

“This was a higher headquarters directed operational mission to assure our allies, and deter adversaries while demonstrating the dynamic force employment model,” said Lt. Col. Lincoln Coleman, 37th BS commander. “This was a total team effort involving every group on base that provided us with the opportunity to integrate with multiple Air Operations Centers in different areas of responsibility.”

In line with the National Defense Strategy’s objectives of strategic predictability and operational unpredictability, the Air Force transitioned its force employment model to enable strategic bombers to operate within the Indo-Pacific region from a broader array of overseas and continental United States locations with greater operational resilience.

“The rapid employment of airpower directly supports the National Defense Strategy and assures we can provide overwhelming force anywhere, anytime in support of American interests or our Allies and partners,” said Gen. Tim Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command and Air Forces-Strategic commander. “This mission is a demonstration to our friends throughout the region: we will continue to remain fully predictable in our commitment to ensuring peace, while also demonstrating that we have the ability to operate from numerous locations across the globe, even during the global pandemic.”

Coleman added that missions like this clearly demonstrate the capability of the B-1 and its aircrews.

“In order to execute AFGSC’s mission, we must be familiar with how our allies and mission partners operate around the globe,” Coleman said. “This requires us to continually execute joint and combined operations around the world. This mission provided a unique opportunity for our aircrew to interact with our allies in an operational environment, improve interoperability, and reinforce our partnership.”

The last time the B-1 was in the INDOPACOM area of responsibility was January 2018, when the airframe and crews completed a six-month Continuous Bomber Presence mission at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. During that time, the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, conducted a number of sequenced bilateral missions with the Republic of Korea Air Force and the JASDF.

B-1s assigned to Ellsworth also conducted a Bomber Task Force mission in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility in October 2019, demonstrating its ability to provide lethal precision global strike options for combatant commanders. The B-1s returned home after a mission that reached across the globe from South Dakota to Saudi Arabia.

Additional imagery regarding the Bomber Task Force can be found here: https://www.afgsc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2161331/us-japan-bomber-fighter-integration-demonstrates-dynamic-force-employment/