Everybody’s Favorite Non-Nuclear Strategic Bomber Has That Ejection-Seat Problem Under Control, Probably

Bullet Points

The Air Force's B-1B Lancer strategic bombers will resume flight operations this week, Air Force Global Strike Command announced on Tuesday, following a two-week fleet-wide safety stand-down — the service's response to a horrifying ejector seat malfunction in May.


  • The service grounded B-1B fleet after an ejection seat reportedly malfunctioned on a crippled bomber on May 1, forcing the pilots to attempt an emergency landing with a blown hatch after finding one of the aircrew was unable to eject. Luckily, the aircraft landed safely in Midland, Texas.
  • A subsequent investigation into the May incident revealed fleet-wide problems with components of the B-1B fleet’s ejection seats, spurring a stand-down until the issues were totally resolved.
  • "We have high confidence that the fleet's egress systems are capable and the fleet is ready to return to normal flight operations," 8th Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Thomas Bussiere said in a statement.
  • While the stand-down included the B-1B bombers engaged in the U.S. counter-terror fights in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, the Air Force reassured the media that "other aircraft that [could] take on the bombers’ missions while the aircraft are being inspected," as T&P;'s previously Jeff Schogol reported.

The May 1 mission commander mission commander faced a nightmare choice of "saving the remaining two crewmembers and their own life by ejecting or risking all of their lives to land the crippled aircraft," as T&P;'s Brad Howard noted in the aftermath of the emergency landing. "Had the fire spread it could easily have resulted in a flashpoint situation which would have destroyed the entire aircraft in short order."

WATCH NEXT:

On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.

Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.

In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Army/Pvt. Stephen Peters)

With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.

After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.

Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.

McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Marine Corps/Staff Sgt. Andrew Ochoa)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.

The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.

They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.

It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.

Read More Show Less
(Reuters/Carlos Barria)

WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.

Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."

"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.

Read More Show Less