Next-generation B-21 bomber bound for 3 bases

The Air Force has identified Ellsworth, Dyess and Whiteman Air Force Bases as the upcoming homes for the in-development B-21 Raider long-range stealth bomber.

PIERRE, S.D. — The U.S. Air Force says bases in Missouri, South Dakota and Texas will receive the next-generation B-21 bomber to replace existing aircraft starting in the mid-2020s.

The Air Force said Wednesday that Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota and Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri have been chosen as “reasonable alternatives ” to host the new B-21 bomber.

Officials are expected to make a final basing decision in 2019 after compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and other regulations. The B-21 is to replace B-1 and B-2 aircraft.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson says current bomber bases are best suited for the B-21.

South Dakota U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds says Ellsworth is a candidate to be the first base to get the next-generation bomber.