Long-range bombers visit Alaska for exercises

Posted: Sunday, October 29, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Four B-1 bombers from Texas arrived at Eielson Air Force Base on Friday to act as enemy forces bent on invading Alaska.

The bombers came from Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene for three days of flying before they leave Eielson Nov. 3, according to base spokesman Tech. Sgt. Elton Price.

The exercise will occur near Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage. The aircraft are scheduled to act as an attacking force coming in over Bristol Bay and flying over Elmendorf to give F-15 fighters a training scenario, Price said.

The bombers will fly into Elmendorf airspace and will be considered unidentified aircraft on radar. Fighters will be deployed to identify the aircraft and either ''engage'' the B-1s or escort them out of their airspace, depending on the scenario, Price said.

The bombers will fly Tuesday, Thursday and Friday as part of Amalgam Warrior, an annual North American Aerospace Defense Command exercise.

More than 130 people from Dyess arrived at Eielson on Wednesday to support the bombers.

Two KC-135s from the Alaska Air National Guard's 168th Air Refueling Wing at Eielson will support the fighters. A tanker from Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota will support the bombers, Price said.

The bombers are designed to fly intercontinental missions without refueling and to penetrate enemy defenses.

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