The airmen of the 40th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron that maintain the B-1B bombers flying combat mission over Afghanistan haven’t missed one of more than 165 launches during the present expeditionary rotation, according to an feature article by Air Force journalist TSgt. Jason Smith. The airmen are performing the same type of work they would at home base, but they work at “a faster pace,” said SrA. Kevin Waxman, one of the unit’s crew chiefs. Capt. Andrew Hackleman, with the 40th EMXS, called the B-1B “a complicated and maintenance-intensive weapon system, and the crew chiefs work tirelessly, 24/7, keeping the jet safe and reliable for aircrew.”
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.