Dyess AFB to House New B-21 "Raider" Bombers


ABILENE, TX – Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, TX will be home to the new B-21 "Raider" bombers according to information released by the Air Force recently.  

The Department of Defense is developing a new bomber aircraft, the B-21 “Raider,” which will eventually replace existing B-1 and B-2 bomber aircraft according to B21eis.com. The beddown of the B-21 will take place through a series of beddowns at three Main Operating Bases (MOBs), referred to as MOB 1, MOB 2, and MOB 3.

The Department of the Air Force (DAF) previously identified Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB), Dyess AFB, and Whiteman AFB as potential installations to beddown the B-21 Raider. The DAF chose Ellsworth AFB for MOB 1; therefore, this EIS evaluates potential environmental consequences associated with establishing MOB 2 at the remaining two alternative bases: Dyess AFB or Whiteman AFB.

The B-21 basing action is a series of beddowns. If one of the candidate bases is selected for MOB 2, then the remaining base would subsequently become the MOB 3 beddown location. Air operations and personnel numbers for the MOB 3 beddown are not anticipated to exceed those analyzed in this EIS and construction activities are anticipated to the be the same for either MOB location. Therefore, the analysis presented in this EIS represents potential impacts associated with the beddown actions at either location.

The MOB 2 and MOB 3 beddowns would include B-21 Operations Squadrons, Weapons Instructor Course (WIC), and Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) Squadron, as well as a Weapons Generation Facility (WGF). Consequently, in this EIS, potential impacts of these four components (i.e., Operations Squadrons, WIC, OT&E, and WGF) are analyzed for both alternative locations, Dyess AFB and Whiteman AFB.

The B-21 will operate under the direction of the Air Force Global Strike Command (GSC). The B-21 will have both conventional and nuclear roles and will be capable of penetrating and surviving in advanced air defense environments. It is projected to enter service in the 2020s, and the DAF intends to operate a minimum of 100 B-21 aircraft. 

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