Ellsworth B-1 bombers touch down in Saudi Arabia

SAUDI ARABIA (KEVN/KOTA TV) - Several 28th Bomb Wing B-1 Lancers were launched from Ellsworth Thursday, Oct. 24 as part of “Bomber Task Force operations in U.S. Central Command,” according to an Air Force news release.

“This is what we train for, and is what sets us apart,” said Col. David A. Doss, 28th Bomb Wing commander. “Let there be no doubt, our team and our B-1s always stand ready to answer our nation's call at a moment's notice.”

The quick deployment included the bombers landing unannounced at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia; about 90 miles from Riyadh. The bombers have since returned home.

Usually, when Air Force bombers are deployed to Central Command they operate out of Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. Since May, however, the U.S. has been deploying assets to Saudi Arabia due to increased tensions with Iran.

In a Facebook post, the U.S. Air Forces Central Command stated that landing the B-1s at the Saudi air base demonstrates “PSAB’s ability to receive, launch and recover combat sorties with a variety of strike aircraft.”

The bomber deployment also came just days before U.S. Special Forces successfully conducted the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raid.