The US Air Force selected Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota as the preferred location to base the first operational Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider bomber and the stealth aircraft’s formal training unit.
B-21s will be located on Whiteman AFB in Missouri and Dyess AFB in Texas once they become available. The USAF says it selected bases using criteria meant to minimise mission impact while transitioning from older bombers, maximise facility reuse, minimise cost and reduce overhead.
“These three bomber bases are well suited for the B-21," says Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. “We expect the first B-21 Raider to be delivered beginning in the mid-2020s, with subsequent deliveries phased across all three bases.”
Ellsworth AFB was selected as the first base because it has enough space and facilities to handle missions at the lowest cost and with minimal operational impact across all three bases, says the USAF