A total of 93 B-1B Lancer bombers were in service as of 01 June 2001. This number was reduced to 92 aircraft following a crash on 12 December 2001 of an aircraft participating in Operation Enduring Freedom.
The B-1 has had a remarkable combat history: In Desert Fox, its combat debut in Iraq in 1999, with the Allied force there and the effort that went forward. The B-1 created an unparalleled record in Kosovo that may be unsurpassed in history, in which it completed 100 of 100 combat missions and took off on time 100 percent of the time. Just seven B-1s dropped 20 percent of the bombs, over 2 1/2 million pounds of munitions, during that conflict.
During Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, B-1s flew a large percentage of the bomber missions in Afghanistan and have destroyed a large percentage of the total targets. B-1s dropped precision weapons and carpet bombing Taliban strongholds on a continuous basis.
The Department of Defense decided in 2001 to retire 33 B-1B aircraft at three locations and use a portion of the savings to upgrade the remaining 60 aircraft in the fleet. The Pentagon claimed the proposal would save enough money to modernize the remaining fleet.
The Air Force program budget decision plan cut the B-1B force structure by more than one-third. This had a substantial impact on a variety of Air Force bases that currently have a B-1B mission, and actually eliminated the B-1B entirely from Mountain Home Air Force Base and from McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas. This would result in the removal of eight B-1 bombers located at Robins Air Force Base currently being used by the 116th Bomb Wing of the Air National Guard. Such a drawdown in the B-1B fleet has the same national impact as would BRAC. The Air Force agreed to offset the economic effects of cuts in the B-1B Lancer bomber force by assigning new missions to Air National Guard members of two bomb wings set to lose B-1Bs
After Congress blocked use of FY 2001 funds to make the cuts, the Air Force agreed to delay the cuts until 2002. A provision in the FY 2001 Supplemental Appropriations Act Conference Report prohibits the use of funds from the current fiscal year from being used to downsize the current B-1 bomber fleet.
Removal of the B-1B from Mountain Home Air Force Base called into question DOD's support of the composite wing which is the basis for the air expeditionary wing concept and raised other long-term strategic and mission questions.
The B-1 missions for the National Guard at McConnell and Robbins Air Force bases have a 15 percent higher mission capable rate than active duty units at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas and Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, with 25 percent less cost per flying hour, due to decreased wear and tear on the aircraft
. Also, the National Guard repairs B-1 engines for the whole fleet at 60 percent of the depot cost. As a result of the high costs associated with traveling to others bases for training, other B1-B wings from Dyess Air Force Base and Ellsworth Air Force Base take part only once a year in composite wing training, whereas the B1-B wing at Mountain Home Air Force Base conducts this type of training twenty four times per year.
The result is that aviators from Mountain Home are rated higher in operational inspections and training because of the enhanced training opportunities which they receive at reduced cost to the government.
The Air Force anticipates completing the retirement and relocation of 33 B-1B bombers by 01 October 2003. The number of operational B-1B air bases will also be reduced from five to two. The Air Force anticpates that these initiatives will save $1.4 billion over five years. A total of eight of the retired B-1Bs are to be placed on display at various Air Force bases.
The remaining 24 are to be sent to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. Of these, 10 of the B-1Bs at Davis-Monthan will be placed in storage, and the remainder used to provide spare parts for the 60 bombers still in service. The retiring aircraft will comprise all of those built in 1983 and most built in 1984.
All of the B-1s have reportedly had nicknames, though in some instances these names are not reported in readily available sources, and it appears that some aircraft do not currently have nicknames. Aircraft nicknames are chosen by the aircraft crew chief, subject to approval by the Wing commander. Some aircraft have been renamed at least once, with a few aircraft having been renamed several times. Both 85-0070 and 86-0122 are apparently nicknamed "Excalibur" and both 85-0067 and 86-0128 are reportedly named "Mis Behavin."
|ACC||40||Dyess AFB, TX||7th Bomb Wing|
|ACC||20||Ellsworth AFB, SD||28th Bomb Wing|
|ACC||8||Mountain Home AFB, ID||366th Air Expeditionary Wing|
|ANG||10||Robins AFB, GA||116th Bomb Wing|
|ANG||12||McConnell AFB, KS||184th Bomb Wing|
|AMC||2||Edwards AFB, CA||test aircraft|
|92||TOTAL INVENTORY [as of 12 Dec 01]|
|7||lost to mishaps [as of 12 Dec 01]|
|1||eliminated under START II Treaty|
|1||eliminated under START II Treaty|
|2||83-0065||Star of Abilene||Dyess|
|9||84-0049||NO NAME||Edwards||ALCM Test Aircraft|
|12||84-0052||NO NAME||Lost 28 Sep 1987 @ La Junta, Colorado|
|14||84-0054||Rage [Tasmanian Terror]||Dyess|
|15||84-0055||Shockwave [Lethal Weapon]||Dyess|
|17||84-0057||Hellion||Dyess||Lost 18 Feb 1998 @ Marion, KY|
|20||85-0060||NO NAME [ex Night Hawk]||McConnell|
|21||85-0061||NO NAME [ex French Connection]||Ellsworth|
|23||85-0063||NO NAME||Lost 08 Nov 1988 @ Dyess AFB, Texas|
|28||85-0068||NO NAME||Edwards||ACM Test Aircraft|
|36||85-0076||Blackjack||Lost 17 Nov 1989 @ Ellsworth AFB S.D.|
|38||85-0078||Heavy Metal||Ellsworth||Lost 19 Sep 1997|
|45||85-0085||No Antidote II [ex America #1]||Ellsworth|
|66||86-0106||Lone Wolf||Lost 01 Dec 1992 @ IR 165, Van Horne TX|
|68||86-0108||Alien With An Attitude||Dyess|
|70||86-0110||Stairway to Heaven||Dyess|
|71||86-0111||Ace in the Hole||Ellsworth|
|74||86-0114||Live Free Or Die [ex Wolfhound]||Ellsworth||crashed 12 Dec 2001, near Diego Garcia|
|83||86-0123||NO NAME [ex High Noon]||Dyess|
|91||86-0131||The Ultimate Warrior||Robins|
|92||86-0132||Oh, Hard Luck||Dyess|
|93||86-0133||NO NAME [ex The Outlaw]||Ellsworth|
|94||86-0134||Wild Ass Ride||Robins|
|97||86-0137||Ace In The Hole||Dyess|
|98||86-0138||Grand Illusions II||Robins|
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