South Dakota’s Ellsworth Air Force Base to be first home for B-21 bomber

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:44 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - South Dakota’s Ellsworth Air Force Base will officially be the first home of the B-21 stealth bomber, officials announced Wednesday.

In March 2019, Ellsworth was designated as a preferred location for the new stealth bomber. The decision has now been finalized.

“To be selected as the main operating base, to be selected as the formal training unit and also the first squadron of the B-21 is something that is incredibly exciting,” said Senator John Thune.

Ellsworth is currently operating B-1 bombers but as the B-21′s begin to take off the B-1′s could be phased out in the coming years.

The B-21 Raider bomber will be a large improvement over many current bombers in operation by combining digital upgrades with increased stealth abilities.

Senator Mike Rounds says “this is a magnificent piece of machinery this platform is one of the most complicated systems ever developed by mankind and to have a training squadron coming right away to Ellsworth is great news for the entire state.”

Sen. Rounds says the decision makes sure South Dakota will continue to play a big role in the country’s national defense.

The decision will also economically impact the area for years to come.

Officials say the B-21 mission will support a projected 7,700 airmen and their families at Ellsworth and generate over $23 million in economic activity.

Ellsworth will be the first of three bases nationwide to host the next-generation bomber in its fleet.

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