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Air Force B-1B Bomber Crashes in Montana, Crew Ejects Safely

B-1B Lancer. US Air Force Photo

B-1B Lancer. US Air Force Photo

A South Dakota-based B-1B Lancer bomber has crashed in Montana on Monday, according to a release from the 28th Bomb Wing provided to USNI News.

The crew — consisting of two pilots and two weapon systems operators — safely ejected with “some injuries,” according to the statement from the Ellsworth Air Force Base command.

“We are actively working to ensure the safety of the crew members and have sent first responders to secure the scene and work closely with local authorities at the crash site,” said Col. Kevin Kennedy, 28th Bomb Wing commander said in the release.

The crash site was near Broadus, Mont. near the 8,300 square mile Powder River Training Complex.

View B-1B Crash in a larger map

Bombers like the B-1B and the B-52 use the training space to practice low level flying and avoidance tactics used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Air Force is currently in negotiations with several local, tribal and federal agencies to expand the training area.

B-1Bs were developed in the mid 1970s and entered the Air Force in 1986 as a high-speed, low altitude nuclear bomber.

In the 1990s it was converted for use as a conventional weapons platform. The so-called “Bone” has seen extensive use over the last five years in Afghanistan after being modified to carry precision munitions

Categories: Aviation, News & Analysis, U.S. Air Force
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.