B-52s from Minot AFB, N.D., flew 40 conventional bombing sorties in four days without scrubbing a single sortie during Prairie Warrior in late November. “Just weeks after coming out of succeeding in a large-scale nuclear exercise, we accomplished our base’s largest conventional exercise of the year, and we crushed it,” said 5th Bomb Wing Commander Col. Jason Armagost in a Dec. 3 release. With 16 available B-52s, Minot’s 5th Bomb Wing flew 12 sorties the first day of Exercise Prairie Warrior, 10 sorties on both the second and third day, and eight sorties on the final day, dropping a total of 119 munitions, according to the wing. “A B-52’s normal flying rhythm is every other day,” said 69th Aircraft Maintenance Unit supervisor SMSgt. Paul Crisostomo. “Our ability to be able to fly a jet one day and turn around and fly it 12 hours later speaks volumes,” he added. Prairie Warrior ran Nov. 17-20.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.