37th Bomb Squadron
The 37th Bomb Squadron is home to the B-1B Lancer, ready to carry out the mission of the 28th Bomb Wing. Col. Tony Beat, 28th Bomb Wing vice commander; Majs. Clay Culver and Kirk Cakerice, 37th Bomb Squadron; and Capt. Gary Everett, 37th BS, died in the Sept. 19 B-1B crash near Alzada, Mont.
The 37th Bomb Squadron enhanced their joint service operations with the Navy by participating in a Fleet Exercise 17-21 March 1997. B1-B aircrews flew long-duration sorties to Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, NC, performing bombing maneuvers which were integrated into Navy strike packages for high-threat environments.
Aircrews from the 37th Bomb Squadron flew 10 non-stop 21-hour missions 14-18 February 2000 as part of a series of Global Power missions. Coronet Spider 28, known at Ellsworth as Tiger Strike, consisted of daily, two-ship sorties that flew a circuit west from Ellsworth to the Alaskan Yukon Range, south to Hawaii, and east over the southwestern continental United States back to Ellsworth, for five straight days. Throughout the week, Tiger Strike aircrews flew more than 87,000 nautical miles and took on more than 2.5 million pounds of jet fuel in-flight. Tanker support for these missions involved active-duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve aircraft from units at Fairchild and McChord Air Force Bases, Wash., Travis AFB, Calif., McConnell AFB, Kan., Grand Forks AFB, N.D., and Bangor, Maine. The 37th BS launched four aircraft daily with the plan that two would act as 'air spares' for the two primary strike aircraft. After the first refueling, the 'spare' aircraft went on to strike targets in the Utah Test and Training Range before returning to Ellsworth. Then, some 10 hours later they were regenerated as the next day's primary strike aircraft in keeping with the intent of the exercise - sustainability and regeneration of strike bombers.
Six Ingleside-based ships, the crew of Ingleside's Mobile Integrated Command Facility (MICFAC), and aircraft of the Air Force's 37th Bomb Squadron from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota took part in RONEX 00-2, an intermediate level exercise designed to put the participants' mine warfare training and proficiency to the test. The mine countermeasures Squadron Exercise (RONEX) took place 8-19 May 2000, spanning the Gulf of Mexico from Ingleside to Panama City, Fla. This RONEX included many significant firsts, notably the use of Air Force B1-B bombers for mine laying during an exercise in the Gulf of Mexico. Two bombers dropped dozens of inert mines well off the coast of western Florida that were subsequently hunted and recovered by the ships.
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