A B-1 bomber assigned to the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth, S.D., crashed on the morning of Aug. 19 local time near Broadus, Mont., northwest of the base, during a routine training mission, announced the wing. Broadus, about 170 miles southeast of Billings, Mont., is a town within the US military’s Powder River Training Complex where Ellsworth’s B-1s train, reported the Associated Press. All four crewmembers—two pilots, two weapon systems operators—safely ejected with some injuries, states the wing’s release. Col. Kevin Kennedy, 28th BW commander, said the first responders transported the crew to two South Dakota hospitals; none of them suffered life-threatening injuries, according to AP. “No one likes to lose an aircraft. It’s bittersweet that we did,” said Kennedy during a news conference on Monday afternoon local time. “Luckily, all four air crew are safely recovered,” he said. The wing said it would release more information as it becomes available. (See also our initial coverage.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.