Air Force News

B-1B flies first JDAM test sortie

Released: 7 Dec 1998

by Airman 1st Class John R. House
28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. (AFPN) -- The 77th Bomb Squadron's new Block D upgraded B-1B flew the first of seven test sorties Nov. 24.

The crew, Majs. Dan Troutman and Rick Rodriguez and Capts. Chris Brunner and Cam Humphries, of the 53rd Training Evaluation Group, Detachment 2, flew to the Utah Test and Training Range and dropped four inert BDU-56 2,000-pound bombs with live Joint Direct Attack Munition tail kits -- two at 25,000 feet and two at 12,000 feet -- for the first part of the training run.

The second phase of the mission was flown over the Western Test Range, Nellis AFB, Nev., where the B-1B's electronic counter measures were tested, said Troutman. The crew evaluated the aircraft's offensive and defensive modified weapons systems for reliability, effectiveness and accuracy.

"We're looking for a correlation between what the engineers think should happen with the JDAM and with what actually happens in a mission," said Troutman.

People at the UTTR filmed the drop and will evaluate the precision of the guided weapon. The gathered data will be shared with other agencies involved in the JDAM programs.

The 28th Operations Group Weapons Standardization Flight trained several four-man load crews in preparation for the sorties, said Staff Sgt. Robert Cortez, 28th OG load standardization crew member.

The weapons flight certified the first 77th BS load crew Nov. 19 and will train eight more crews by the end of December, said Cortez. "We will also begin training crews from other bases like Dyess AFB (Texas) and Mountain Home AFB (Idaho) over the next few months."

The B-1B's three bays can hold eight GDU-31 2,000-pound bombs or four Mark 65 2,265-pound Naval mines each, said Cortez.

"With the new JDAM system, we can drop 24 bombs and hit 24 separate targets with great accuracy." (Courtesy of Air Combat Command News Service)


* B-1B Lancer
* KC-10A Extender
* Air Combat Command
* Dyess Air Force Base, Texas
* Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
* Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.
* Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho
* Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.