BOX ELDER, S.D. (KELO) — Growth is the word of the day at Ellsworth Air Force Base, as work moves forward to get the B-21 Raider project off the ground.

Senator Mike Rounds and the Air Force’s Assistant Secretary Dr. Ravi Chaudhary were in Box Elder to provide an update on the mission.

“This has all got to come together at the right time, for this particular weapon system to do its job properly. And for the airmen and women to be able to live here and to look back at it and say they were prepared and they helped get our mission accomplished. ” Senator Mike Rounds said.

“The message is that we’ve got to remain on the leading edge and our nation continues to entrust this community to partner with the military, to partner with the Air Force, to ensure we deliver for our nation.” Assistant Secretary Dr. Ravi Chaudhary said.

Ellsworth Air Force Base is preparing for the increased number in personnel, as well as the families that are anticipated to come along with the new mission.

While the addition of the B-21 Raider will come added responsibilities to Ellsworth, there are also housing and school expansion challenges for communities surrounding the base.

“If you want your airmen to have a place to live, you’ve got to have housing. If you want your kids to get a good education, you’ve got to have the schools built when they get here, not after they have arrived.” Senator Rounds said.

A lot of that work is already well underway in communities across western South Dakota. 

Ellsworth Air Force Base will run the B-1B missions alongside the new division as they grow.