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Rounds Receives Assurances from Secretary of Defense Nominee that he is committed to Restoring B-1B Bomber Readiness


WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, yesterday received assurances from Dr. Ash Carter that he is committed to restoring B-1B bomber readiness. At his confirmation hearing today, Dr. Carter told Rounds that while there are other factors to consider, he remains committed to restoring the mission capabilities of the B-1B bombers.  There are currently 27 B-1B bombers located at Ellsworth Air Force Base near Box Elder, South Dakota.  The 28th Bomb Wing is one of only two B-1B bases in the world.  

Rounds pressed: “In your role, and I believe that you will be confirmed, what I’m looking for is a commitment that these men and women that are literally tasked with keeping these aircraft operational, that they have your full support to get the numbers back up to where they ought to be… Literally right now they’re taking out of the bone pile to harvest parts off to keep those aircraft flying today…”

Carter responded: “I have the same understanding of the problem that you do and the same commitment you do.”

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