B-1B Lancers departed Dyess Air Force Base September 7, 2022 in support of a bomber task force (BTF) mission to the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) area of responsibility.
During this one-day mission, the B-1 strategic bombers conducted interoperability training with Panama and Ecuador, aerial refueling with KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft from McDill Air Force Base in Florida, and countered illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing operations off the coast of Ecuador in the vicinity of the Galapagos Islands.
Training alongside partner nations during this BTF mission strengthened the U.S. partnership with Ecuador and Panama, and enhanced interoperability and readiness to help prepare for a range of potential future operations.
“We are in competition in our own hemisphere,” U.S. Air Force Colonel Joseph Kramer, 7th Bomb Wing commander, told the bomber aircrews before their departure. “These bomber missions demonstrate our ability to respond to threats in today’s complex, dynamic, and volatile global security environment anytime, anywhere,” he added.
BTF operations are carried out routinely by U.S. Strategic Command across the globe as a demonstration of U.S. commitment to collective defense and to integrate with Geographic Combatant Command operations and activities.
SOUTHCOM is committed to sustained engagement with our partners through a variety of military-to-military activities such as this BTF mission, which demonstrate to U.S. allies and partners its commitment to maintaining stability and security around the world. SOUTHCOM’s work is designed to prevent conflict while simultaneously ensuring the U.S. military and its partners are prepared to respond to crisis.