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B-1 Veterans return to the Home of the BONE

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Reilly McGuire
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

More than 100 veteran aviators and maintainers visited Dyess Air Force Base during the 35-year B-1B Lancer Reunion at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, October 29th, 2021.

The B-1 Bomber Association worked with Dyess AFB members to make the reunion happen. The B-1 Bomber Association is a non-profit organization focused on maintaining contact with members of the B-1 community, past and present.

“Dyess is the home of the B-1 and every aircrew member has called this base home at some point in their career,” said (Ret) Lt. Col. Clint Taylor, B-1 Bomber Association President, “The B-1 community is like a family and getting together during these reunions is an amazing way for us to stay connected, remember our past and pay tribute to our fallen members.”

The veterans were given the chance to reminisce on the past while also seeing what’s new in the B-1 world. While showcasing a static B-1 aircraft, flight simulator and a virtual reality scenario, the tour highlighted how the B-1 would not be what it is today without the continued innovation of past and present aviators.

“A lot of these guys are the ones that had the good ideas of how to reinvent the B-1 and keep it relevant,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Steele, 7th Operations Group Deputy Commander. “These members are whose shoulders we stand on and carry on their legacy through continuing the bomber mission.”

While many enjoyed reuniting with friends and colleagues alike, it was important to remember those who were not able to make it. Fifty-five fallen B-1 crew members were honored in a ceremony held by current and past members.

“We will name each one and ring a bell for each name until all 55 names are called,” Taylor said. “It’s important to remember your family when they pass on.”

Over 35-years have passed since the introduction of the B-1 in the U.S. Air Force’s inventory and it’s arrival at Dyess AFB. Since then, the hypersonic bomber has played many different roles.

“The B-1 has played an imperative role in each of the conflicts the aircraft has had a role in,” Taylor said.

For current B-1 aircrews, honoring those that came before them is extremely important. For the ones who have already served, they get to see the further development of the foundation they laid.

“They get excited about seeing the evolution of the airplane and how capable it is now,” Steele said. “It’s one big family that needs to get together every once in a while to tell stories and see what’s new on the B-1.”