DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) – Dyess Air Force Base will continue to provide strategic bomber support as the Air Force released its plan for the bomber fleet in its Fiscal Year 2019 President’s Budget request Feb 12, 2019.
“Based off the Secretary of the Air Force’s vector, those that are bomber bases now should expect
to be bomber bases in the future,” said Col. Brandon Parker, 7th Bomb Wing commander. “We have been
charged by Global Strike Command to be able to fight tonight, and we will continue to modernize and
conduct B-1 operations on full throttle to deliver combat support anytime, anywhere.”
According to the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs press release the budget request
detailed the Air Force plan to modernize the bomber fleet by continuing to fund modifications to the B-52
Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit fleets while continuing to acquire B-21 Raiders.
“As part of our decisions presented in the FY19 President’s Budget, the Air Force will update the
B-52 bomber fleet and fund development of replacement engines,” said Secretary of the Air Force
Heather A. Wilson. “We will also continue necessary B-1 and B-2 modifications to keep them relevant
until the B-21s come on line.”
Once sufficient B-21 aircraft are operational, the B-1s and B-2s will be incrementally retired.
Delivery and retirement timelines are dependent on the B-21 production and delivery schedules.
“If the force structure we have proposed is supported by the Congress, bases that have bombers
now will have bombers in the future,” Wilson said. “They will be B-52s and B-21s.”
The B-21, which the Air Force plans to start fielding in the mid-2020s, will eventually become
the backbone of the U.S. strategic bomber fleet and serve as a visible, flexible deterrent to adversaries and
assure U.S. partners and allies.
“Modernizing and recapitalizing our bomber force is absolutely central to the recently released
National Defense Strategy and the Nuclear Posture Review,” said Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen.
David L. Goldfein. “Our bomber force allows the commander in chief to hold targets at risk anywhere on
the globe with unparalleled range and our most diverse payloads.”
The decision to maintain the B-52 is based on numerous factors including maintenance and
sustainment metrics, such as aircraft availability, mission capability, supply, and maintenance hours per
flying hour and total cost perspectives.
“With an adequate sustainment and modernization focus, including new engines, the B-52 has a
projected service life through 2050, remaining a key part of the bomber enterprise well into the future,”
said Gen. Robin Rand, Air Force Global Strike Command commander.
The Air Force’s bombers are an integral component of the nation’s strategic deterrence and global
strike capabilities. The nation requires that the bomber force remain a potent and decisive asset
throughout the spectrum of conflict in the modern battlespace.
“At the end of Desert Storm in 1991 we had 290 total bombers,” Rand said. “Today that force has
dropped to 157 bombers at five bomb wings and 15 total force bomb squadrons. That’s a 46 percent
decrease in our bomber force while we have conducted continuous combat operations such as Allied
Force, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Odyssey Dawn, Inherent Resolve and Freedom’s Sentinel, in
addition to continuous bomber rotations in the (U.S. Central Command) and (U.S. Pacific Command)
areas of responsibility.”
This article is a press release from Dyess Air Force Base