Dyess set to receive B-21, associated units
U.S. Air Force officials announced March 27 that Dyess Air Force Base is on track to receive the B-21 Raider and would host operational flying squadrons, the weapons instructor course squadron and the operational test function.
“This is an exciting time to be a part of the Dyess and Abilene communities as we see to the transition to the Raider. Whether they know it or not, every person in this region has the potential to be a part of the legacy this base and community has built and will continue to build for years,” said Col. Brandon Parker, 7th Bomb Wing commander. “I’m ecstatic about this B-21 announcement and what it means to be a part of Team Dyess now and in the coming decades of bomber airpower.”
Dyess expects to be the third installation to receive the new, long-range bomber following Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, and Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.
“We are looking forward to working with our Air Force senior leaders, as well as our counterparts at Ellsworth and Whiteman to see this transition through,” said Parker. “There is always a lot of work to be done to maintain our position as the most capable Air Force in the world, and I have no doubt that our outstanding bomber community will keep us there well into the future.”
The final basing decision is expected in 2021 following an environmental analysis to ensure the regions in which the B-21 would reside and operate can reasonably host this new mission capability.
It has not yet been determined how many people or how much base construction will be required to support the B-21 mission. What is certain is that hosting the B-21 would be bring change to Dyess and the Abilene community. The number of personnel required at each of the bases will be determined over the next few years, and a task force has been activated to develop construction requirements, estimates and schedules for each of the three considered bases.
“We look forward to seeing this process through as it continues to unfold,” said Parker. “Right now, this is great news not just for the base and for the community, but also for the defense of our nation.”