The US Air Force’s (USAF) B-1B Lancer bomber aircraft has recently conducted hot pit refuelling training in support of a Bomber Task Force (BTF) mission.

The training was carried out on 14 November, as part of a bilateral defence exercise Keen Sword 23 between the US and Japan.

The aircraft belonged to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron (EBS) from the Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB) in South Dakota, US.

Lancer was forward deployed from Andersen AFB in Guam to Misawa Air Base in Japan.

For the recent refuelling exercise, the 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron, with the help of refuelling trucks on the flight line, hot pit refuelled the B-1B Lancer strategic bomber aircraft at Misawa Air Base.

This technique of refuelling is conducted without shutting down its engines, which subsequently minimises the time spent by the aircraft on the ground.

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USAF 37th EBS commander colonel Christopher McConnell said: “Hot pit refuelling provides flexibility in our mission and demonstrates the ability to quickly get B-1s back in the fight if needed.”

Exercises of this sort are conducted to train the aircrew and associated forces to familiarise themselves with the other theatres of operation or airspace outside the US.

It further allows airmen to hone their existing skillsets and endurance capabilities, as well as prepares them to undertake a wide variety of National Defence Strategy missions worldwide.

McConnell added: “BTF missions showcase our ability to integrate with many Allied and partner nations in the Indo-Pacific region, in addition to our Joint Forces.

“They provide valuable training for our bomber crews across multiple mission sets while integrating with those forces and show our nation’s commitment to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific by exercising across the region.”