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A B-1B Lancer soars over Wyoming. Six B-1Bs from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., are bound for Andersen Air Force Base on Guam. The bombers will replace four B-2 Spirits from the 325th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.

A B-1B Lancer soars over Wyoming. Six B-1Bs from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., are bound for Andersen Air Force Base on Guam. The bombers will replace four B-2 Spirits from the 325th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. (Douglas C. Brunelle / U.S. Air Force)

The Air Force is swapping out bombers on Guam this week with the departure of the stealthy B-2 Spirits and the arrival of six B-1B Lancers from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.

Andersen Air Force Base officials announced Monday that about 250 airmen from Ellsworth already have started to arrive at Andersen as part of a 120-day Air and Space Expeditionary Force rotation. The airmen, who are part of the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, are replacing those from the 325th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., who arrived in April for a four-month deployment with four B-2 Spirit bombers.

The B-1s were expected to land at Andersen on Monday afternoon, according to Andersen officials.

“The B-2s are on their way out,” said Tech. Sgt. Bryan Gatewood, an Andersen spokesman, adding that the Ellsworth airmen and their planes are part of a routine deployment to the island.

At the direction of U.S. Pacific Command leaders, bombers and other aircraft from the United States have continuously deployed to Guam since February 2004. Andersen officials said the rotations allow PACOM to adjust its force posture to enhance regional security while underscoring the U.S. commitment to the Western Pacific. Placing B-1 bombers on Guam, meanwhile, provides PACOM with “short-notice global strike and strategic engagement capabilities that otherwise would not exist in this region,” officials said in a news release. The deployments also increase training opportunities that integrate the bombers into PACOM’s joint and coalition exercises on Andersen.

The F-15E Strike Eagles from Mountain Home Air Force Base’s 391st Fighter Squadron in Idaho — and about 300 accompanying personnel — left Andersen in early August, Gatewood said, after arriving April 29.

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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