B-1 achieves 10,000 combat sorties milestone
Date: Feb 27, 2012
Title: SWA’s B1 10K Combat Sortie
Subtitle: B-1s 10, 000 Combat Sortie from Southwest Asia
Producer: Tech. Sgt. Lisa Carlson, 379th AEW/Public Affairs
Name: 120227-SWA’s B1 10K Combat Sortie
Keywords: 379 AEW, 379, 379th, AEW, Southwest Asia, SWA, Grand Slam wing, Triangle K, Air Expeditionary Wing, B-1, B1, Bone, Lancer, 10K, 10,000, Combat, Combat Sortie, Sortie, Aircraft, Bomber, milestone, historic moment, bombs, flight, aircrew, Co-pilot, WSO, Weapon Systems Operator, Pilot
Tech. Sgt. Lisa Carlson – Producer
Capt. Mark Kimball, Aircraft commander
1st Lt Anh-Vu Nguyen, Co-Pilot
Capt Laura Hunstock, WSO (Weapon Systems Officer)
Lt. Col. Alejandro Gomez, Mission Team Lead
A1C Bradley Skelton, B-1 Crew Chief
MSgt Christopher Busch, B-1 Production Superintendent
Imagine making something for a single use and then using it 10-thousand times. Now, imagine it’s an aircraft. Tech. Sgt. Lisa Carlson has the details on a remarkable milestone for the B-1.
The B-1, Lancer is a supersonic bomber built in the 1970s. Commonly known as “Bone” for B-dash-one, this uniquely designed aircraft marked its’ historical 10-thousand combat sortie or mission, this past Sunday on Feb. 26, 2012. Capt. Mark Kimball, Aircraft commander explains the difference between a sortie and a combat sortie.
“We fly a sortie at home for training and you’ll go against simulated threats and simulated targets and you’re just out practicing. A combat sortie, you know now, we’re taking all that training and we’re actually applying it.”
A remarkable achievement for an aircraft not originally built for these continuous missions.
“It’s pretty amazing that an airplane that was designed for low-level strategic attach in a nuclear role back in the 70s and 80s when it was first designed has really evolved into a pretty big combat platform.”
This 10-thousandth combat mission also has a personal meaning to its crew members: Lt. Anh-Vu Win (Nguyen) Co-pilot, Capt. Laura Hunstock Weapon Systems Officer, and Lt. Col. Alejandro Gomez Mission Team Lead.
"This is my first deployment with the B-1. I’m actually the youngest aviator, part of the team so, I’m very honored.”
“My father flew bombers for 23 years and I’m excited to carry on our family tradition and legacy in flying the B-1.”
"I’ve got to watch the very first combat sortie launch on that date Dec. 16, 1998 and it’s pretty surreal watching 2 B-1s take off at 2 o’clock in the morning to go do strikes.”
Kimball explains what it’s like in the cockpit of a B-1.
Kimball Nat SB:
"... you spend somewhere like 300 hundred hours cramped into an area the size of a mini-van or something. So, it's like a big road trip with 3 of your closest friends."
10-thousand combat missions mean 10-thousand maintenance successes. Airman 1st Class Bradley Skelton B-1 Crew Chief and Master Sgt. Christopher Busch B-1 Production Superintendent explain what that means.
"It’s amazing that we’ve been here this long, uh, to support the friendly forces on the ground. It’s just a good thing to be a part of.”
“You know, I was a crew chief on the B-1 for about 14 years. You know, I know what they’re going through. It’s a tough aircraft to work. It’s challenging, some days you want to go home and cry after the day you had. You know when you see the aircraft, I think you mentioned it, when you see the aircraft take off, that’s what it’s all about.”
The B-1 will continue to be the “backbone” of America’s long-range bomber force and 10-thousand combat sorties is only the beginning. I’m Tech. Sgt. Lisa Carlson, 379th Public Affairs, Southwest Asia.
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This work, B-1 achieves 10,000 combat sorties milestone, by MSgt Lisa Carlson, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.