Author Topic: Ellsworth Grounds B-1 Bombers Due To Sequestration  (Read 507 times)

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famousdayandyear

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Ellsworth Grounds B-1 Bombers Due To Sequestration
« on: April 13, 2013, 03:01:03 AM »
http://www.keloland.com/newsdetail.cfm/ellsworth-grounds-bombers-due-to-sequestration/?id=146572

Ellsworth Grounds Bombers Due To Sequestration

April 12, 2013, 10:03 PM by Derek Olson
Ellsworth Grounds Bombers Due To Sequestration

BOX ELDER, SD -

The B-1 Bombers at Ellsworth Air Force Base won't be flying anytime soon.

"Our local combat squadron, the 37th combat squadron will not fly between now, and right now we're planning until October first," 28th Bomb Wing Colonel Kevin Kennedy said.

Because of sequestration the military is coping with close to $500 billion in cuts to its budget over the next decade. The groundings will help Air Combat Command cut a total of 45 thousand flight hours across the board.

"Bottom line, though, this is something that we need to do to make sure we're ready for the fight down range," Kennedy said.

B-1's from Ellsworth's 34th Bomb Squadron are currently deployed overseas and are not affected by the grounding, yet.

"The 34th will maintain their combat readiness as they continue to fight.  But when they come home they will enter into the same status as the 37th," Kennedy said.

In the meantime, airmen are using flight simulators to stay sharp. Still, it's no substitute for flying.

"Over half of our crew force by October first will be unqualified in the airplane and we'll have to have an official qualification program to get them back in step," Kennedy said.

Maintenance on the bombers will continue, but even that may be compromised by the budget cuts.

"Parts are going to be prioritized just like flying hours, so we may enter into positions where we do not have the parts available to fix the airplanes as they break," Kennedy said.

And even though the grounding will officially end in October, it may take much longer for operations to get back to normal.

"Six months down, it's going to take more than six months to recover," Kennedy said.

The cuts took affect earlier this week.

Ellsworth is also home to the 432nd Attack Squadron, which remotely pilots drones over Afghanistan. Those operations aren't won't change because of the cuts
« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 03:02:11 AM by famousdayandyear »

Offline EC

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Re: Ellsworth Grounds B-1 Bombers Due To Sequestration
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 06:42:46 AM »
Ellsworth is also home to the 432nd Attack Squadron, which remotely pilots drones over Afghanistan. Those operations aren't won't change because of the cuts

Of course they won't. Obama sure loves him some drone strikes. There are no cameras in the nose of a B-1, so he can't watch.
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Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Ellsworth Grounds B-1 Bombers Due To Sequestration
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013, 12:49:28 PM »
In the meantime everyone is still getting their Obamaphones.


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