U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers Complete 24-Hour Sprint from Guam to Train in Alaska, Japan

Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer strategic bombers flew from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam and conducted training in Alaska and Japan on May 21.

The mission was a “continued demonstration of the U.S. Air Force’s dynamic force employment model”, said a Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) statement.

In Alaska, the B-1s were joined by USAF F-22 Raptor and F-16 fighter jets out of the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), to conduct a large force employment exercise in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC).

The crews then flew southwest to Japan where they completed familiarization training in support of U.S. European Command (EUCOM) objectives. The bombers then continued south in the vicinity of Misawa, Japan integrating with the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and a P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to conduct Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) training before returning to Guam.

B-1B Lancer Takes Off in Guam
A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber takes off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, May 21, 2020. (USAF photo by Senior Airman River Bruce)

Four B-1Bs and approximately 200 Airmen are currently deployed to Andersen AFB from 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, as part of a joint U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) and U.S. Strategic Command Bomber Task Force (BTF).

“These missions demonstrate our ability to hold any target at risk, anytime, and anywhere,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Stallsworth, 9th EBS commander. “The training value of these sorties is irreplaceable…our team conducted large force exercise training around Alaska with U.S. Air Force fighters, we conducted multiple standoff weapons training events, as well as integrated with U.S. naval assets along the way. From a readiness perspective, it is hard to think of a more valuable training sortie.”

Since their arrival in Guam, the bombers have conducted a variety of missions, from near the Hawaiian Islands, to the South China Sea, integrating with both joint counterparts and Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) partners.

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

B-1s first returned to the theater on Jan. 22, conducting a long-range BTF mission from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, to integrate with U.S. Air Force F-16s and Koku Jieitai, or Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) F-2s and F-15s.

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