USA USAF B 1B retirement 1 640Downsizing of operational B-1B fleet has been completed

By sending B-1B 85-0074 to the Arizona Boneyard, Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) concluded its divestiture of 17 Rockwell B-1B Lancers.

Scramble Magazine reported on 18 February 2021 on the first B-1B retired in fiscal year 2021.

On 23 September 2021, the, for the time being, last Lancer bomber departed Edwards AFB (CA) to fly to the Boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB (AZ). The divestiture of the B-1Bs is in support of USAF's efforts to modernise America’s bomber fleet, as authorised by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The 17 bombers were retired from a fleet of 62, leaving 45 in the active inventory.

Out of the aircraft retired, one went to Tinker AFB (OK) as a prototype for structural repair actions; one went to Edwards AFB (CA) as a ground tester; one went to Wichita (KS) to the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) for digital mapping; and one went to Barksdale AFB (LA) as a static display for the Barksdale Global Power Museum.

The remaining 13 aircraft are now stored at the Boneyard with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB in Type 4000 storage. Four of those will remain in a reclaimable condition that is consistent with Type 2000 recallable storage (aircraft allocated for reclamation purposes). These four are marked with a *.

In the distant future, USAF's AFGSC will transition from three bombers (B-1B, B-2A and B-52H) to two (B-21 and B-52H).

Scramble Magazine can now provide an overview of the retired Lancers. The following 13 B-1Bs are now stored with the 309th AMARG at Davis Monthan AFB (AZ):

85-0066*, 85-0074, 85-0077*, 85-0081*, 85-0083, 85-0087, 85-0090, 86-0093, 86-0115*, 86-0118, 86-0123, 86-0132 and 86-0133

The other four retired B-1Bs have taken over various roles as a second life:

85-0080 to Barksdale Global Power Museum (LA)
86-0099 to Edwards AFB (CA) for test duties
86-0101 to NIAR in Wichita (KS) for test duties
86-0109 to Tinker AFB (OK) for structural repair training duties

Photos by USAF

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