B-1s integrate with Ukraine aircraft for first time

A Ukrainian Su-27 Flanker escorts two B1B Lancers during a training mission for Bomber Task Force Europe, May 29, 2020. Aircrews from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, took off on their long-range, long-duration Bomber Task Force mission to conduct interoperability training throughout Europe and the Black Sea region. (Courtesy photo by Ukrainian Air Force)
June 01, 2020

B-1B Lancers from the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, integrated with Ukrainian Su-27 Flankers and MiG-29 Fulcrums for the first time as part of a long-range, long duration strategic bomber mission throughout Europe and the Black Sea region, May 29, 2020.

Training together with our Ukrainian partners contributes to enhanced resiliency and interoperability and enables us to build the enduring relationships necessary to confront the broad range of global challenges.

“We appreciate the opportunity to be able to train with so many partners and allies to build our ability to increase integration, increase operational capability, and more than anything else, build upon what we have learned in the past and actually set the conditions for continued operations together in the future,” said Lt. Gen. Steven L. Basham, United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa deputy commander.

Ukraine is an important NATO partner, critical to maintaining Black Sea and wider transatlantic security, and despite the outbreak of COVID-19, the two nations are committed to the mission and readiness of our forces.

“This is just one more step in being able to work together with a country to operate together and learn from each other,” said Basham.

The United States remains steadfast in its support for a prosperous, democratic, and free Ukraine, secure within its internationally recognized borders.