Al Van ZeeSouth Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem said Thursday that the grounding of the B-1 bombers at Ellsworth Air Force Base "concerns" her. Noem told reporters that the U.S. could lose the level of readiness that enables Ellsworth to deploy and strike.
She said the B-1s have been the workhorses of a lot of the operations in Afghanistan for the past decade.
Noem says, "It doesn't account for the lack of flight hours for the rest of the year, so which could continue to operate at a low level of training and readiness in the next year. Yesterday, I was able to question the Air Force directly about the decision. And while I understand the situation that they're facing with recent budget cuts, I'm concerned that we're depriving our airmen of the training that they need in order to respond quickly."
The moratorium on training flights for B-1 crews at Ellsworth was announced on April 12. It will remain in effect until October.