B-1B Lancers at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, as well as some of the airmen who maintain and fly them, are temporarily relocating to Texas for several weeks amid an investigation into a crash of one of the bombers earlier this month.
On Thursday, airmen at Ellsworth Air Force Base, located near Rapid City, began flying an undisclosed number of Lancers to Dyess Air Force Base near Abilene, Texas, officials from both bases told Military.com.
The move comes after a B-1B Lancer crashed earlier this month during a training mission at Ellsworth, which caused damage to the runway and paused flight operations at the base.
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“The airfield is closed again until further notice as the Safety Investigation Board continues its work,” the 28th Bomb Wing said in a statement. “Until then, we will continue operations out of Dyess AFB.”
The base did not disclose the number of Lancers that were flown to Dyess. The 28th Bomb Wing also said that approximately 250 aircrew, maintainers and other support personnel are expected to work from Texas for several weeks alongside the planes.
Col. Derek Oakley, the 28th Bomb Wing commander, said the mission serves as a reminder that the B-1 force is still ready to deploy if need be, marking the first flights at the base since the crash.
“It also reassures our allies and partners that we are steadfast in supporting them…