The most powerful us air force strategic aircraft the B-1 Lancer shows the awesome power of it's afterburners. SOUTHWEST ASIA — Airmen from the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron reached the end of a six month deployment Jan. 27, continuing to validate not only their abilities, but the B-1B Lancer's capabilities as well.
"We are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish during this deployment," said Lt. Col. Steven Biggs, 37th EBS commander. "The achievements of our Airmen during this rotation are reflective of the rich heritage of the B-1."
The 37th EBS Airmen, also known as the "Tigers," worked to generate 556 sorties, flying more than 6,980 hours during more than 550 missions supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
"We were able to show why the B-1 and Airmen who support the aircraft have been valuable assets to the Air Force for more than 25 years," said Lt. Col. John Martin, 37th EBS B1-B instructor weapons system officer and director of operations. "Our Airmen made their families back home proud and should know they left here making a true impact."
They also made a difference during the attack on Combat Outpost Keating in October 2009, when hundreds of insurgents armed with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades attacked soldiers there.
After more than 10 hours of bombing and strafing from an Air Force B-1B Lancer and F-15E Strike Eagles, nearly 100 militants were killed by the combined response that included Afghan soldiers as well as U.S. air and ground units. A total of eight Americans and three Afghans were killed, while nine Americans and 11 Afghans were wounded, according to Combined Joint Task Force-82 officials.
"There is no doubt that without the incredible air support we received, it would have been a much worse day," said Army Lt. Col. Robert Brown, 3-61 Cavalry commander from the 4th Infantry Division. "Your ability to keep a steady flow of aircraft and ordnance on the enemy turned what could have been a terrible defeat into a hard fought victory."
A victory 37th EBS Airmen are proud to be a part of.
"It is great to be a part of a mission like that," said Martin, a native of Canton, Ga. "To be able to help defeat the enemy after they attack us is something our Airmen will always remember."
While the accomplishments in the air have been numerous for these bomber aircrews, none of it would be possible without the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit on the ground.
"Each of our Airmen have put about 72 man-hours a week making sure our aircraft are ready to do the mission," Capt. Chris Reese, 37th AMU officer in charge. "We turned over 100 percent of our aircraft ready to fly. We are very proud of our team."
The 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, also from Ellsworth AFB, S.D., arrived here Jan. 27 to replace the Tigers.
"The 34th EBS and aircraft maintenance unit are proud to be relieving the 37th EBS, a fellow Doolittle Raider Squadron," said Lt. Col. George A. Holland, 34th EBS director of operations. "The Tigers have left a great legacy of combat operations and we will build on this excellence as we support the ground forces commanders, and the B-1 is an excellent aircraft for this mission."
Video Description Credit: Tech. Sgt. Oshawn Jefferson
Video Credits: Airman 1st Class Shawn White, Airman 1st Class Aaron Hauser, Airman 1st Class Heidi Goodsell, Master Sgt. Michael Jackson and Airman 1st Class Joshua DeGuzman
Thumbnail Credit: SAC Ben Stevenson This file is licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0 (OGL).https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/1/ Photo Modified by ArmedForcesUpdate