A pair of B-1B Lancer bombers on Friday deployed to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam to conduct training as part of a bomber task force mission.
The B-1s, from the 28th Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, will support Pacific Air Forces as they train with allies, partners and joint forces, PACAF said in a release.
Before they arrived at Guam, the bombers flew to the Sea of Japan, where they trained on intercepting aircraft with F-15Js from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, or Koku-Jieitai.
These bombers are from the 28th Wing’s 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron. Roughly 170 airmen deployed with them.
“Our team has been actively preparing for [bomber task force] operations to ensure we’re ready and capable of meeting any requirement across the globe,” squadron commander Lt. Col. Lincoln Coleman said in the release. “We are excited for the opportunity to integrate with our partners and allies in the Pacific theater and increase our joint lethality.”
A KC-135 Stratotanker from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron at Kadena Air Base in Japan refueled the bombers on their way.
The U.S. military regularly sends bombers around the world on task force missions to show airpower and commitment to allies in key regions, as well as to train with other nations and services. B-1s last deployed to Guam in early May, when four bombers from Dyess Air Force Base arrived. That was the first B-1 deployment to Andersen since 2017.
And in April, Air Force Global Strike Command announced it would no longer conduct lengthy, routine rotations out of Andersen as part of its Continuous Bomber Presence mission, and flew five B-52s back to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.