Air Combat Command moves up safety stand down day

Released: Sep 20, 1997

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFNS) -- At approximately 3:20 p.m. MDT on Sept. 19 a B-1B from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., crashed 25 miles north of Alzada, Mont. All four crew members were killed in the crash. The aircraft was flying over the Powder River Military Operating Area on a training mission. There were no weapons on board at the time of the crash.

As a result, Gen. Richard E. Hawley, commander, Air Combat Command, immediately directed that ACC will move its safety stand down day from Friday, Sept. 26, to Monday, Sept. 22.

"This has been a terrible, tragic week for our Air Force," said Hawley. "On Monday, we will stop flying training and exercise missions and focus intently on what we do and how we do it. We need to determine why these incidents happened and how to prevent any more mishaps.

"We will look at every facet across the entire spectrum of our operations and zero in on the risks associated with each task. Then we'll review the way we train, identify ways risk can be eliminated or minimized, and take the actions necessary to mitigate those risks.

"We must turn this recent trend around. Every Air Force life is precious and it's imperative that we take every precaution to ensure the safety of our people and our operations."

ACC is responsible for training and equipping all active, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve combat wings and squadrons in the United States and Panama. The command comprises more than 1,056 aircraft and 103,000 active-duty members and civilian personnel at 28 major installations in the United States, Panama, Iceland and Portugal. (Courtesy of Air Combat Command Public Affairs)