The Air Force's B-1B Lancer long-range bomber is supposed to be one of three critical strategic bombers in the Pentagon's inventory. At the moment, however, the Air Force's Lancer fleet is an embarrassing mess.

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The United States Air Force’s 28th Bomb Wing based at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota could become the first Rockwell International B-1B Lancer unit to be equipped with Lockheed Martin’s AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile. Crews at the base started to train on the new weapon earlier this month.

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Editor’s Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.

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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.

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The emergency landing of a B-1B Lancer bomber at Midland International Air Space Port in Midland County, Texas on May 1st reportedly involved heroic action on the part of the crew to save both the aircraft and a potentially stranded crewmember following a serious ejector seat malfunction.

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One day flying over Afghanistan, sometime in mid-2010, ground troops who were getting shot at requested ISR support (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance). Unfortunately when they requested this show of force, our small Air Force prop plane, the majestic and swan-like MC-12W, was insufficient to strike fear into the hearts of the Taliban through looks alone. Luckily, an Air Force B-1B bomber was flying in the stack with us. It was majestic watching it fly below us, and its silhouette evoked terrifying images in the ancient DNA in my brain. Perhaps having the B-1B bomber overhead helped end the incoming fire the troops were taking without firing a shot. Maybe not.

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