An investigation into the May 1 incident found problems with the B-1B fleet’s ejection seat components, prompting then head of Air Force Global Strike Command to order a safety stand-down for all of the bombers on Thursday, officials said.
“As these issues are resolved, aircraft will return to flight,” the command said in a Friday news release, which did not specify when the B-1Bs might resume flight operations.
The worldwide stand down affects B-1Bs supporting U.S. operations in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, but the Air Force has other aircraft that can take on the bombers’ missions while the aircraft are being inspected, an Air Force official told Task & Purpose on Friday.
Pictures posted on the Facebook page showed one of the bomber’s emergency hatches missing and fire damage to the plane’s right side engines. On Friday, a spokeswoman for Global Strike Command declined to say what the investigation into the incident found or if the ejection seat had failed because a safety investigation board is still looking into what happened.
“However, during the safety investigation process an issue with ejection seat components was discovered that necessitated the fleet-wide stand-down,” Maj. Anastasia Schmidt said in an email to Task & Purpose. “The specific findings and recommendations of the SIB are protected by the military safety privilege and are not subject to release.”
A leaked photo of the engines of the B-1B that had an IFE on May 1st 2018amn/nco/snco FB page
Expected to remain in service until the early 2030s, the B-1B is an critical part of the nation’s conventional arsenal. During the April 13 airstrikes against Syria, Lancers launched cruise missiles at their targets from outside Syrian airspace.
“The day in itself probably won’t solve the problem,” but it “gives them a chance to identify issues that they can elevate up to the MAJCOM [major command] if necessary; that they can raise up to the air staff, if necessary,” Maj. Gen. John Rauch Jr., commander of the Air Force Safety Center, said on May 8.
QUETTA, Pakistan/KABUL (Reuters) - The brother of the leader of the Afghan Taliban was among at least four people killed in a bomb blast at a mosque in Pakistan on Friday, two Taliban sources told Reuters, an attack that could affect efforts to end the Afghan war.
An Indiana Army National Guard soldier died Thursday night during a training accident at Fort Hood.
According to a Fort Hood press release, the soldier's injuries came from "a tactical vehicle accident in the training area." The name of the soldier is being withheld until the family is notified.
The incident, which occurred at around 10 p.m., will be investigated by the Army Combat Readiness Center at Fort Rucker, Alabama, the release said.
Nearly 32% of active-duty military deaths between 2006 and 2018 have been the result of accidents, according to an analysis from the Congressional Research Service.
The Army has had a number of vehicular deaths this year. In June, one West Point cadet was killed and 21 others were injured when a tactical vehicle rolled during training. A vehicle rollover at Fort Irwin, California killed one soldier and injured three others that same month, and in May, a rollover killed one soldier and injured a dozen others at Fort Polk, La.