Ellsworth generates bombers Published Jan. 25, 2024 By Steven J. Merrill 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- The unmistakable sound of freedom that only B-1B Lancers can create, filled the skies over the base Jan. 25, 2024, when the 28th Bomb Wing launched several aircraft, demonstrating its ability to provide long range strike – anytime, anywhere. Base officials worked closely with the aircraft accident investigating team to inspect the airfield, ensured it was safe and then generated bombers for training missions that concluded with the aircraft landing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Col. Derek Oakley, 28th BW commander, stated today’s mission clearly demonstrated the Airmen accomplishing the mission at the world’s largest B-1B combat wing are capable of executing its mission and remain ready. “It also reassures our allies and partners that we are steadfast in supporting them when needed, and reminds our nation’s adversaries of the capabilities we are able to bring to any fight, anywhere around the globe,” Oakley added. The flights are the first missions since the base’s airfield was closed Jan. 4, 2024, following a B-1B crash where all four aircrew safely ejected. The airfield is closed again until further notice as the accident investigation team continues its work. “And while our airfield operations are currently on hold as part of the investigation, today, we proved that this weapon system is mission capable,” Oakley said. Col. Seth Spanier, commander of the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess AFB and former deputy commander at Ellsworth, welcomed the joint opportunity with fellow B-1B aviators to conduct training sorties. He noted that anytime squadrons are able to share knowledge and train together it helps with bolstering readiness and the lethality of the conventional bomber force.