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7th Bomb Wing displays readiness with Bomber Task Force deployment

A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancer flies over the East China Sea May 6, 2020, during a training mission. The 9th EBS is deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, as part of a Bomber Task Force supporting Pacific Air Forces’ strategic deterrence missions and  commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancer flies over the East China Sea May 6, 2020, during a training mission. The 9th EBS is deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, as part of a Bomber Task Force supporting Pacific Air Forces’ strategic deterrence missions and commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancer flies over the East China Sea May 6, 2020, during a training mission. The 9th EBS is deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, as part of a Bomber Task Force supporting Pacific Air Forces’ strategic deterrence missions and  commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancer flies over the East China Sea May 6, 2020, during a training mission. The 9th EBS is deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, as part of a Bomber Task Force supporting Pacific Air Forces’ strategic deterrence missions and commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancer is refueled by an Ohio Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker from the 166th Aerial Refueling Squadron over the East China Sea May 6, 2020, during a training mission. The 9th EBS is deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, as part of a Bomber Task Force supporting Pacific Air Forces’ strategic deterrence missions and  commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancer is refueled by an Ohio Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker from the 166th Aerial Refueling Squadron over the East China Sea May 6, 2020, during a training mission. The 9th EBS is deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, as part of a Bomber Task Force supporting Pacific Air Forces’ strategic deterrence missions and commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

Senior Airman Raisa Ward, 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron Aircraft Maintenance Unit avionics technician, climbs into a 9th EBS B-1B Lancer to conduct maintenance at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, May 5, 2020. This BTF supports the National Defense Strategy objectives of strategic predictability and operational unpredictability.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

Senior Airman Raisa Ward, 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron Aircraft Maintenance Unit avionics technician, climbs into a 9th EBS B-1B Lancer to conduct maintenance at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, May 5, 2020. This BTF supports the National Defense Strategy objectives of strategic predictability and operational unpredictability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

Senior Airman Raisa Ward, 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron Aircraft Maintenance Unit avionics technician, sits under a 9th EBS B-1B Lancer at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, May 5, 2020, after completing maintenance on the aircraft. The 9th EBS, and other units assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing of Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, are deployed to Guam as part of a Bomber Task Force. BTFs contribute to joint force lethality, assure allies and partners, and deter aggression in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

Senior Airman Raisa Ward, 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron Aircraft Maintenance Unit avionics technician, sits under a 9th EBS B-1B Lancer at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, May 5, 2020, after completing maintenance on the aircraft. The 9th EBS, and other units assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing of Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, are deployed to Guam as part of a Bomber Task Force. BTFs contribute to joint force lethality, assure allies and partners, and deter aggression in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

Senior Airman Raisa Ward, 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron Aircraft Maintenance Unit avionics technician, organizes a tool box at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, May 5, 2020, after performing maintenance on a B-1B Lancer. The 9th EBS, and other units assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing of Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, are deployed to Guam as part of a Bomber Task Force to support Pacific Air Forces’ training efforts with allies, partners and joint forces; and strategic deterrence missions to reinforce the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

Senior Airman Raisa Ward, 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron Aircraft Maintenance Unit avionics technician, organizes a tool box at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, May 5, 2020, after performing maintenance on a B-1B Lancer. The 9th EBS, and other units assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing of Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, are deployed to Guam as part of a Bomber Task Force to support Pacific Air Forces’ training efforts with allies, partners and joint forces; and strategic deterrence missions to reinforce the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancer lands at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, May 4, 2020, after completing a training mission in the East China Sea. The squadron is deployed to Guam for a Bomber Task Force deployment. BTFs support the National Defense Strategy objective of being strategically predictable and operationally unpredictable. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

A 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancer lands at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, May 4, 2020, after completing a training mission in the East China Sea. The squadron is deployed to Guam for a Bomber Task Force deployment. BTFs support the National Defense Strategy objective of being strategically predictable and operationally unpredictable. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

Senior Airman Shelby Ries, 7th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion mechanic, loads an engine onto a trailer at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, May 3, 2020. The B-1 has four engines that can produce 30,000 lbs. of thrust each. Four B-1Bs deployed to Andersen as part of U.S. Strategic Command’s support to the National Defense Strategy objectives of strategic predictability and operational unpredictability by using a mix of different aircraft to and from various dispersed U.S. bases and other departure and arrival points, to include Guam. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

Senior Airman Shelby Ries, 7th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion mechanic, loads an engine onto a trailer at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, May 3, 2020. The B-1 has four engines that can produce 30,000 lbs. of thrust each. Four B-1Bs deployed to Andersen as part of U.S. Strategic Command’s support to the National Defense Strategy objectives of strategic predictability and operational unpredictability by using a mix of different aircraft to and from various dispersed U.S. bases and other departure and arrival points, to include Guam. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

7th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron B-1B Lancer aircraft mechanics prepare to load an engine at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, May 3, 2020. The B-1 carries four engines that help it reach speeds of more than 900 mph. A Bomber Task Force of four B-1s and approximately 200 Airmen deployed to Andersen as part of the Air Force’s dynamic force employment initiative. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

7th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron B-1B Lancer aircraft mechanics prepare to load an engine at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, May 3, 2020. The B-1 carries four engines that help it reach speeds of more than 900 mph. A Bomber Task Force of four B-1s and approximately 200 Airmen deployed to Andersen as part of the Air Force’s dynamic force employment initiative. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam --

The 7th Bomb Wing’s readiness was on full display supporting Pacific Air Forces’ Bomber Task Force mission despite the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Approximately 200 Airmen and four 9th Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancers from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, arrived at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on short notice to conduct missions in the Indo-Pacific theater to support Pacific Air Forces’ training efforts with allies, partners and joint forces; and strategic deterrence missions to reinforce the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific region.

“When the commander in chief says he wants four B-1B Lancers in the Indo-Pacific, we say ‘they’ll be there’ even in a pandemic,” said Col. Jose “Ed” Sumangil, 7th BW commander. “And that’s what we did on very short notice. We were able to make this happen because of the effort as a whole from Team Dyess to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission while sustaining our mission capabilities.”

The BTF is an example of a dynamic force employment, which provides a persistent, long-term bomber presence in the Indo-Pacific theater and around the globe.

“We’re putting the National Defense Strategy into action,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Stallsworth, 9th EBS commander. “Bombers are anywhere in the world, at any time, for as long as necessary.”

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

“We’re keeping our adversaries on their toes,” said Stallsworth. “Our adversaries don’t know where we are residing and projecting power from. We can display our air superiority in the Pacific, Europe or anywhere in the world, whenever we want.”

The bombers have flown three training missions in the East China Sea since the squadron’s arrival. These missions would not have been possible without help from the KC-135 Stratrotankers assigned or deployed to various bases in the PACAF theater.

“Our pilots have been excited to fly these long-duration missions. My aviators love to fly, and [the] BTF has included some of the best training they can receive,” said Stallsworth.

The U.S. Air Force stood down the B-1B Lancer fleet for maintenance issues, which allowed for in-depth repairs to the aircraft.

“We’ve been able to reap the benefits of the great maintenance that was conducted on the B-1B over the last year,” said Stallsworth. “We took a temporary pause to take care of our aircraft, but its back in action and displaying its true force.”

The last time the B-1Bs were deployed to the region was 2017. Bombers from the 9th EBS supported missions from Andersen AFB, conducting multiple sequenced bilateral missions with the Republic of Korea Air Force and the Japan Air Self Defense Force.

 “Just two and a half weeks ago, we were back home enjoying life in the states and the phone rang,” said Stallsworth. “Our nation called. We answered, and we’re here.”