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B-1Bs conduct CONUS to CONUS Bomber Task Force Mission in support of SOUTHCOM

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B-1B Lancers departed Dyess Air Force Base Sept. 7 in support of a bomber task force mission to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.

During this mission, B-1 aircrews integrated with partner nations in the USSOUTHCOM AOR, air refueled with the support of MacDill AFB tankers, and countered illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing operations off the coast of Ecuador in the vicinity of the Galapagos Islands.

“This kind of regional military engagement strengthens our partnership with Ecuador and Panama and enhances interoperability and improves our collective readiness for a range of potential future operations – from disaster relief to humanitarian assistance to security operations. When our forces train alongside one another we improve our ability to work together in times of crisis,”

USSOUTHCOM leadership


The 7th Bomb Wing embraces the unique challenge of BTF missions. This sortie marks the fourth BTF mission this year to include one BTF deployment to RAF Fairford, United Kingdom, one CONUS to CONUS mission to the INDOPACOM AOR, and most recently a CONUS to CONUS mission to the U.S. Africa Command AOR.

Three B-1B Lancers takeoff from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas Sept. 7th, 2022 for a Bomber Task Force mission to U.S. Southern Command. BTF missions familiarize aircrews with air bases and operations in different Geographic Combatant Commands and enable them to maintain a high state of readiness and proficiency, validating the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command’s always-ready global strike capability. Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Mercedes Porter

“There are certain things that only Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen can do, and this is one of them. Based on the Airmen we have in this room, we can fly this mission and then turnaround and regenerate in a matter of hours – we make it look easy, but it’s tough work,”

Col. John C. McClung, 7th Operations Group commander.


Air Force Global Strike Command routinely conducts BTF operations across the globe with and in support of the geographic combatant commands. This mission is representative of the U.S. commitment to our partners to maintain regional security and stability while enabling units to become familiar with operations in different regions.

“We are in competition in our own hemisphere. These bomber missions demonstrate our ability to respond to threats in today’s complex, dynamic and volatile global security environment anytime, anywhere.”

Col. Joseph Kramer, 7th BW commander,
U.S. Air Force aircrew prepare to taxi the runway before takeoff at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas Sept. 7th, 2022. The crews took-off in support of a Bomber Task Force mission within the U.S. Southern Command. This kind of regional military engagement strengthens the United States’ partnership with our partnered allies, Ecuador and Panama, and improves the collective readiness for a range of potential future operations. Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Mercedes Porter
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