Big Country Homepage: Military Affairs Committee continues preparation to bring the B-21 Raider to Dyess Air Force Base

A big focus of the Military Affairs Committee is getting the B-21 Raider to Dyess Air Force Base, but before that happens, they are working to bring the B-21 Formal Training Unit to the base as well as keep the current bomber viable for the foreseeable future.

“Our air space at Dyess, our weather, our runway, our infrastructure, our community is poised for a training unit to be at Dyess,” Military Affairs Committee Vice President Gray Bridwell said.

While working to bring the B-21 Bomber to Dyess, The Military Affairs Committee is working even harder to bring the B-21 Formal Training unit to the base.

“The school house. Someone has to train all of those airmen,” Bridwell said

Bridwell said the committee is working with state delegation like Congressman Jodey Arrington, Senator Ted Cruz and Senator John Cornyn to support the base.

“Have all sent letters to the Secretary of the Air force supporting Dyess and pointing out our airspace, our training routes,” Bridwell said.

These letters will help ensure Dyess is first on the list for the B-21.

“The Secretary of the Air Force received that very well.  Quality of life issues resound very highly with her and Abilene meets those requirements,” Bridwell said.

While the military Affairs Committee waits for a decision on the B-21 and the Formal Training Unit, Bridwell says it’s important to keep Dyess’ current bomber, the B-1, viable and up to date with changing technology.

“You do that with money. National Defense Authorization Act is a very important piece. Updates on the B-1 with the radio and communication system making sure that the B-1 is ready at all times,” Bridwell said.

According to Bridwell, the B-1 is doing well and will be flying well into the future.

“Boeing is testing the B-1 on a system in Tukwila, Washington to where they actually over age the aircraft to see what potential problems it might have and they’ve got it up to the year 2040 and beyond,” Bridwell said.

The B-21 Raider is still being developed and won’t be flying missions until mid 2020’s.