Ellsworth Airforce Base hosts Combat Raider training

Local News

BOX ELDER, S.D. (KELO) — It’s been a busy day at the Ellsworth Airforce Base. A variety of airmen from across the nation are training at an event called Combat Raider.

You may notice some loud noises in the sky in Western KELOLAND this week, that’s because these pilots are taking off for Combat Raider training.

Captain Cody Gondek is a B-1B Lancer Pilot. He’s been flying the aircraft for about 3 years.

“It’s been a few years now, definitely a lot of training that goes into it but excited to be here,” Capt. Gondek said.

A series of aircrafts including bombers, fighters, and tankers launched in order to prepare for future threats.

“Every military aircraft has its own purpose and all of the aircraft here have a different purpose so when we all get together, we all work better together and then just get stronger. So a ton of airpower all in one, it helps us defeat any threat really,” Capt. Gondek said.

Right now I am in the B-1B Lancer which flew 3rd we saw today.

The munitions displayed at the event can all be carried by the B-1.
Sgt. Austin Robedeaux is with the munitions squadron and specializes in the materials.

“This is a 2,000 pound class bomb body. It’s a penetrator war head which means it’s hard steel bomb body. This thing is designed to punch in and blow bunkers. It can actually penetrate 20 feet roughly of hardened concrete,” Sgt. Robedeaux said.

While the weapons are not live, the airmen practice real-life scenarios to be as prepared as possible if the time comes.

Combat Raider was started in 2016. It is a large force exercise designed to train aircrews in realistic scenarios that support a full range of operations against modern threats.

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