A First for the Operational B-1 Fleet

B-1B bombers from Ellsworth AFB, S.D., became the first operational Lancers to employ the 500-pound GBU-54 laser-guided joint direct attack munition during the just-completed Combat Hammer air-to-ground weapons system evaluation at the Utah Test and Training Range near Hill AFB, Utah, announced Ellsworth officials May 16. Aircrews from Ellsworth’s 34th Bomb Squadron and 37th BS dropped six GBU-54s against moving targets during the May 14-16 exercise, they said. “It was gratifying to be part of the first operational release” from the B-1, said Capt. Charles Armstrong, a 37th BS weapon systems operator and a mission leader for Combat Hammer. He added, “We’re learning a lot from these missions, and it’s vital to uncover the peculiarities of this weapon now in a training environment so we can employ it with no issues in combat.” (Ellsworth report by A1C Hrair H. Palyan)