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Check Six: B-1B Lancer – 28 years ago

March 23, 2020

Of the 100 B-1Bs built, 93 remained in 2000 after losses in accidents. In June 2001, the Pentagon sought to place one-third of its then fleet into storage; this proposal resulted in several U.S. Air National Guard officers and members of Congress lobbying against the proposal, including the drafting of an amendment to prevent such cuts. The 2001 proposal was intended to allow money to be diverted to further upgrades to the remaining B-1Bs, such as computer modernization.

In 2003, accompanied by the removal of B-1Bs from the two bomb wings in the Air National Guard, the USAF decided to retire 33 aircraft to concentrate its budget on maintaining availability of remaining B-1Bs.

In 2004, a new appropriation bill called for some of the retired aircraft to return to service, and the USAF returned seven mothballed bombers to service to increase the fleet to 67 aircraft.

Currently (Sept 2017) the Air Force retains an active inventory of 62 aircraft assigned to squadrons at Dyess AFB, Texas and Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota. (Wikipedia)

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