The United States Air Force will move its Rockwell B-1 Lancer bombers from the Air Combat Command to the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) on October 1, 2015. According to Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, the transfer was made to regroup its entire bomber fleet under one Command.
The Long Range Strike Bomber (LRSB), America’s next generation of bombers, will also join the Global Strike Command.
Military.com reported that James issued a statement about the B-1 bombers and the LRSB redeployment to the Global Strike Command.
“This realignment places all three Air Force bombers under one command and brings the LRS-B program with it,” James said in a statement. “Consolidating all of our Air Force assets in this critical mission area under a single command will help provide a unified voice to maintain the high standards necessary in stewardship of our nation’s bomber forces.”
Although very limited informations are available on the LRSB, we do know Boeing and Lockheed Martin are working together on the project. The LRSB production is estimated at about 80-100 aircraft and will replace the ageing B-52 and B-1 bombers fleets. The targeted price is evaluated at more than $550 million per aircraft. The bomber will have the ability to carry thermonuclear weapons.
Currently, the B-1s are stationed at the 7th Bomb Wing (BW) at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and the 28th BW at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. More than 7,000 airmen are affected to the two bomb wings and the transfer to the Global Strike Command doesn’t mean the B-1s will be moving.
Again, Military.com reported that Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, head of air Force Global Strike Command, expect the transfer to be “imperceptible.”
“We expect the transfer to be imperceptible to the majority of airmen at Dyess and Ellsworth as they will continue to work for the same supervisors and units,” Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, head of Air Force Global Strike Command, said in a statement.
The Air Force Global Strike Command was deemed operational in 2009 with a mission to combine all nuclear forces under its command. Both bombers will join the B-2 and the B-52s under AFGSC. The AFGSC will be responsible for organizing, training and equipping Airmen who will conduct missions.