B-52 bombers replace Ellsworth B-1s in Guam

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer, assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, prepares to take off from Andersen AFB, Guam, Sept. 23, 2017. This mission was flown as part of the continuing demonstration of the U.S. commitment to the defense of its homeland and in support of its partners and allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Smoot)

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Ellsworth’s B-1 contingent is preparing to return home from Guam, now that a cadre of B-52 bombers has touched down at Andersen Air Force Base.

Tuesday, six B-52H Stratofortress bombers and approximately 300 airmen from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., deployed to Andersen.

The 350 airmen and six B-1 Lancer bombers from the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron are expected to return by the end of January; ending a six-month deployment.

While deployed, the bomber crews flew numerous “show of force” missions across the Pacific theater, predominantly around the Korean Peninsula. The missions, according to an Air Force News Service release, “demonstrates the continued commitment of the U.S.to allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.” The missions began in 2004.

The Air Force also this week deployed three B-2 bombers to Guam, the first time since 2016 that all three types of Air Force bombers were based together on Guam.

Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, fly alongside a Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) F-2s over the vicinity of the East China Sea, Oct. 21, 2017. Following the flight with Koku Jieitai the Lancers continued on to participate in a flyover for the 2017 Seoul Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (Seoul ADEX 17) at Seoul Airport, Republic of Korea. (photo courtesy of Koku Jieitai [Japan Air Self-Defense Force])