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B-1s dropping bombs on those engaged with Coalition forces

A B-1B Lancer refuels from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a recent Operation Enduring Freedom mission.  Both aircraft are deployed to the 40th Air Expeditionary Group (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Smith)

A B-1B Lancer refuels from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a recent Operation Enduring Freedom mission. Both aircraft are deployed to the 40th Air Expeditionary Group (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Smith)

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM -- Airmen from the 40th Air Expeditionary Group continue to make their presence felt in Operation Enduring Freedom through bombs dropped by B-1Bs.

Just 30 days into Air Expeditionary Force Rotation 1/2, about 200 Airmen from here forward deployed to support the Coalition ground forces closer to the battlefront.
According to Col. Scott Vander Hamm, 40 AEG commander, the forward deployment allows the B-1s to fly the heaviest weapons tempo since the beginning of OEF in 2001.

"Conducting split operations is never an easy task, but the benefits are worth the work," said Colonel Vander Hamm. "Because of the extra hours and hard work you (40th AEG Airmen) have put in, we are seeing airpower effects across the battlesphere in support of ground forces."

In a one-week period, July 1-7, 2006, B-1s provided close air support to Coalition forces in contact with enemy forces more than 21 times. During the same period, B-1s also destroyed various Taliban extremists' compounds with precision weapons.
Lt. Gen. Gary North, Commander 9th Air Force and USCENTAF, said the B-1s make a positive difference on the battlefront.

"The B-1 is a key and integral part of the CFACC's (Combined Forces Air Component Commander's) 'tool kit' in our war on terror in the AOR (Area of Responsibility)," said General North. "The incredible capability of the aircraft and the professionalism of the crews...from the maintainers, AMMO, weapons load crews, ops and intel integration to the flight crews...the combined team behind our AOR employment makes it all happen, from close air support to Coalition forces through the full spectrum of combat operations."

Getting the job done isn't as simple as getting a crew to the aircraft and taking off. It's important to realize that bombers don't go anywhere without people. Every Airman plays a role in making these missions successful, said Colonel Vander Hamm.

Each day, B-1 and KC-135 missions originate from the 40 AEG and a forward deployed location in Southwest Asia. Long before the aircraft take to the sky, Airmen on the ground are maintaining the planes, building the bombs, loading the fuel, feeding the crews, and taking care of all the other business that comes with running a deployed military unit. The end result is lives saved, said Colonel Vander Hamm.

"We are providing life-saving firepower for Coalition forces on the ground," said Colonel Vander Hamm. "The bombs are effectively getting to the targets because of your (40 AEG Airmen) efforts."

It doesn't take a commander to see the big picture. Capt. Stuart Newberry, 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron pilot, has flown more than 40 combat missions in the B-1. He said even the newest aircrew members know the importance of the people on the ground.

"Everybody has their own specialty, or little piece of the puzzle," said Captain Newberry. "When all of those pieces come together, the mission is successful. If one person isn't doing their part, everything else drags.

"For example, there's no way I would have the time or knowledge to build all the bombs, repair the aircraft, fix all of my meals, take care of intelligence research and so on," he continued. "Everyone realizes the obvious role of the tankers giving us the gas we need, but sometimes the not-so-obvious roles aren't highlighted."

Captain Newberry said the B-1 will continue to need the full support of all Airmen involved in the missions because it's a unique weapon in the Air Force arsenal.
"No other platform can stay up as long with as many weapons," said Captain Newberry. "The B-1 brings a longer loiter time and larger payload to the fight."

As long the B-1s are needed to conduct combat operations from here, Colonel Vander Hamm said every Airman at the 40 AEG can take pride in knowing that when Coalition ground forces thank the B-1s for saving lives, they are also thanking everyone here who makes the missions possible.

"You (40 AEG Airmen) each share a part in ensuring that the men and women of our Coalition ground forces can safely return home," said Colonel Vander Hamm.

40 AEG Public Affairs

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM - Airmen from the 40th Air Expeditionary Group continue to make their presence felt in Operation Enduring Freedom through bombs dropped by B-1Bs.

Just 30 days into Air Expeditionary Force Rotation 1/2, about 200 Airmen from here forward deployed to support the Coalition ground forces closer to the battlefront.
According to Col. Scott Vander Hamm, 40 AEG commander, the forward deployment allows the B-1s to fly the heaviest weapons tempo since the beginning of OEF in 2001.

"Conducting split operations is never an easy task, but the benefits are worth the work," said Colonel Vander Hamm. "Because of the extra hours and hard work you (40 AEG Airmen) have put in, we are seeing airpower effects across the battlesphere in support of ground forces."

In a one-week period, July 1-7, 2006, B-1s provided close air support to Coalition forces in contact with enemy forces more than 21 times. During the same period, B-1s also destroyed various Taliban extremists' compounds with precision weapons.
Lt. Gen. Gary North, Commander 9th Air Force and USCENTAF, said the B-1s make a positive difference on the battlefront.

"The B-1 is a key and integral part of the CFACC's (Combined Forces Air Component Commander's) 'tool kit' in our war on terror in the AOR (Area of Responsibility)," said General North. "The incredible capability of the aircraft and the professionalism of the crews...from the maintainers, AMMO, weapons load crews, ops and intel integration to the flight crews...the combined team behind our AOR employment makes it all happen, from close air support to Coalition forces through the full spectrum of combat operations."

Getting the job done isn't as simple as getting a crew to the aircraft and taking off. It's important to realize that bombers don't go anywhere without people. Every Airman plays a role in making these missions successful, said Colonel Vander Hamm.

Each day, B-1 and KC-135 missions originate from the 40 AEG and a forward deployed location in Southwest Asia. Long before the aircraft take to the sky, Airmen on the ground are maintaining the planes, building the bombs, loading the fuel, feeding the crews, and taking care of all the other business that comes with running a deployed military unit. The end result is lives saved, said Colonel Vander Hamm.

"We are providing life-saving firepower for Coalition forces on the ground," said Colonel Vander Hamm. "The bombs are effectively getting to the targets because of your (40 AEG Airmen) efforts."

It doesn't take a commander to see the big picture. Capt. Stuart Newberry, 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron pilot, has flown more than 40 combat missions in the B-1. He said even the newest aircrew members know the importance of the people on the ground.

"Everybody has their own specialty, or little piece of the puzzle," said Captain Newberry. "When all of those pieces come together, the mission is successful. If one person isn't doing their part, everything else drags.

"For example, there's no way I would have the time or knowledge to build all the bombs, repair the aircraft, fix all of my meals, take care of intelligence research and so on," he continued. "Everyone realizes the obvious role of the tankers giving us the gas we need, but sometimes the not-so-obvious roles aren't highlighted."

Captain Newberry said the B-1 will continue to need the full support of all Airmen involved in the missions because it's a unique weapon in the Air Force arsenal.
"No other platform can stay up as long with as many weapons," said Captain Newberry. "The B-1 brings a longer loiter time and larger payload to the fight."

As long the B-1s are needed to conduct combat operations from here, Colonel Vander Hamm said every Airman at the 40 AEG can take pride in knowing that when Coalition ground forces thank the B-1s for saving lives, they are also thanking everyone here who makes the missions possible.

"You (40 AEG Airmen) each share a part in ensuring that the men and women of our Coalition ground forces can safely return home," said Colonel Vander Hamm.

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