Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
New Details Surrounding That Fiery B-1B Emergency Landing In Texas Are Here
B-1B Lancer flight operations are set to resume this week after a stand-down of bomber missions that lasted nearly two weeks, Air Force Global Strike Command officials said Tuesday.
The stand-down of the fleet gave officials time to "thoroughly evaluate the egress components and determine potential risks before returning to flight," AFGSC said in a release.
Earlier this month the command grounded the fleet over safety concerns related to the Lancer's ejection seats. The stand-down was a result of the emergency landing a Dyess Air Force Base B-1 made May 1 at Midland Airport in Texas.
"We have high confidence that the fleet's egress systems are capable and the fleet is ready to return to normal flight operations," said Maj. Thomas Bussiere, 8th Air Force Commander, in a statement.
Bussiere oversees the bomber force, AFGSC said.
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson on Monday confirmed speculation that the Dyess B-1 had to make an emergency landing last month after an ejection seat didn't blow.
The B-1 crew "were out training," Wilson said during a speech at the Defense Communities summit in Washington, D.C.
Aboard the aircraft she said, we an instructor pilot and "a brand-new crew."
"And the indicator light goes off that they have a fire," she said. "They go through their checklist of everything they're supposed to do. The next thing on the checklist is to eject....they start the ejection sequence."
Only "the cover comes off, and nothing else happens," she said, referring to the weapons systems officer's ejection hatch. "The seat doesn't fire. Within two seconds of knowing that that had happened, the aircraft commander says, 'Cease ejection, we'll try to land.'"
A Rockwell B-1B Lancer sits after making an emergency landing at Midland International Air and Space Port, Tuesday, May 1, 2018, in Midland, Texas.Jacob Ford/Odessa American/Associated Press
The incident occurred around 1:30 p.m. May 1. Local media reported at the time the non-nuclear B-1B was not carrying weapons when it requested to land because of "an engine flameout."
Weeks later, images surfaced on Facebook purporting to show a burnt-out engine from the incident. Photos from The Associated Press and Midland Reporter-Telegram also showed the B-1B, tail number 86-0109, was missing a ceiling hatch, leading to speculation an in-flight ejection was attempted.
The back ceiling hatch, which hovers over either the offensive or defensive weapons systems officer depending on mission set, was open, although all four crew members were shown sitting on the Midland flight line in photos.
Unidentified individuals told the popular Facebook group Air Force Amn/Nco/Snco that the offensive weapons system officer attempted a manual ejection, but the ACES II seat did not blow, leading the crew to make an emergency landing instead.
Officials on Tuesday said the investigation into the incident is still ongoing.
Wilson praised the aircrew for their attempts to land while the back-seat airman was sitting on a seat that could still blow with just one bit of turbulence from the aircraft.
"The courage it took and the values represented by that aircraft commander who decided we're going to try for all of us to make it rather than sacrifice the one guy who can't get out. Those are the men and women who choose to wear the uniform of the U.S. Air Force," Wilson said.
Currently, B-1s are deployed to the Middle East for strike operations and to Europe for a series of summer exercises.
This story originally appeared on Military.com
Read more from Military.com:
- Air Force Grounds Entire B-1 Bomber Fleet Over Ejection Seat Concerns
- No End in Sight for B-1 Grounding as New Emergency Landing Reported
- B-1 Crews Prep for Anti-Surface Warfare in Latest LRASM Tests
The Navy has fired five senior leaders so far in August – and the month isn't even over.
While the sea service is famous for instilling in officers that they are responsible for any wrongdoing by their sailors – whether they are aware of the infractions or not – the recent rash of firings is a lot, even for the Navy.
A Navy spokesman said there is no connection between any of the five officers relieved of command, adding that each relief is looked at separately.
'We are a people organization' — Army leaders push renewed focus on soldiers amid rise in sexual assaults and suicides
After months of focusing on modernization priorities, Army leadership plans to tackle persisting personnel issues in the coming years.
Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Tuesday at an event with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies that what people can to hear service leadership "talk a lot about ... our people. Investing in our people, so that they can reach their potential. ... We are a people organization."
Two U.S. military service members were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the Resolute Support mission announced in a press release.
Their identities are being withheld pending notification of next of kin, the command added.
A total of 16 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan so far in 2019. Fourteen of those service members have died in combat including two service members killed in an apparent insider attack on July 29.
Two U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been killed in non-combat incidents and a sailor from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln was declared dead after falling overboard while the ship was supporting operations in Afghanistan.
At least two defense contractors have also been killed in Afghanistan. One was a Navy veteran and the other had served in the Army.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's paramilitary groups on Wednesday blamed a series of recent blasts at their weapons depots and bases on the United States and Israel.
The statement from the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the umbrella grouping of Iraq's mostly Shi'ite Muslim paramilitary groups, many of which are backed by Iran, said the United States had allowed four Israeli drones to enter the region accompanying U.S. forces and carry out missions on Iraqi territory.