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Air Force B-1B Lancers return to Al Udeid after 2-year absence

Two B-1B Lancers from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota landed at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar on Saturday.

The bombers are replacing the B-52 Stratofortress, U.S. Air Forces Central Command said Monday in posts on Facebook and Twitter.

The B-52s flew more than 1,800 sorties and dropped almost 12,000 weapons against the Islamic State and the Taliban since they themselves replaced the B-1 in 2016.

“The Bone is back!” AFCENT said in its social media posts.

AFCENT commander Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian on March 30 flew one of the B-52’s final combat missions before it departed, AFCENT said in a tweet Monday.

AFCENT Commander Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian flew one of the final combat missions for the B-52 March 30 before the Stratofortress left the Middle East. (AFCENT)
AFCENT Commander Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian flew one of the final combat missions for the B-52 March 30 before the Stratofortress left the Middle East. (AFCENT)

The B-1 last deployed to the Middle East in July 2014, to support operations in Afghanistan. Soon afterwards, however, the war against ISIS erupted and Lancers began carrying out missions against the militant group in Iraq and Syria.

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