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B-1B and B-52 visit 53d Wing [PHOTOS]

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“Airmen are what makes the Air Force excellent,” said Mathis. “By seeing the weight, size and bomb bays of these aircraft, it emphasized the importance of our team’s work as well as the individual’s impact to the mission.”

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — Members of the 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Dyess AFB and the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Barksdale AFB brought a B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress, respectively, here July 30.

Due to the 53rd Wing’s diverse and dispersed mission, many Airmen across the wing work on software and systems related to the B-1 and B-52 but have never interacted with the aircraft or aircrew in person. One of the wing’s units that work on the B-1 and B-52 is the 16th Electronic Warfare Squadron.

eglin b-1b-lancer

B-1 Lancer aircrew steps out toward their aircraft Aug. 1 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The 53rd Wing bomber was flown from Dyess AFB, Texas, to allow wing personnel an opportunity to see one of their geographically separated aircraft up close. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

eglin air force base B-1b lancer

Tech. Sgt. Chris Kassleman, 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron, communicates preflight checks with the B-1 Lancer aircrew prior to takeoff from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Aug. 1. Aircrew brought the 53rd Wing bomber from Dyess AFB, Texas, to allow wing personnel an opportunity to see one of their geographically separated aircraft up close. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

eglin air force base B-1B Lancer

Tech. Sgt. Chris Kassleman, 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron, communicates preflight checks with the B-1 Lancer aircrew prior to take off from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Aug. 1. Aircrew brought the 53rd Wing bomber from Dyess AFB, Texas, to allow wing personnel an opportunity to see one of their geographically separated aircraft up close. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

“In the Air Force, we focus on ensuring every Airman knows how they fit into the larger mission and the purpose of what they do,” said Lt. Col. Robert Mathis, 16th EWS commander.  “It’s a huge morale boost and definitely inspiring for my Airmen to be able to see, touch and engage with the jets and aircrew they have spent years supporting.”

eglin air force base B-52 Stratofortress

A 53rd Wing F-15 Eagle flies over another of the wing’s aircraft, the B-52 Stratofortress Aug. 1 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron aircrew brought the bomber from Barksdale AFB, La., to allow wing personnel an opportunity to see one of their geographically separated aircraft up close. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

2nd Lt. Andrew Ervin is a B-1 Defensive Systems Engineer here. In his job, he develops mission data files for the B-1, but prior to this tour, he had never seen one before.

“I’m a very hands-on person, and as a result it’s sometimes easy to lose track of how engaging my job as an engineer is,” said Ervin. “It’s easy to forget that the endless ocean of numbers we put into mission data actually are loaded onto a jet and sent into combat. Getting to see and tour the platform my work goes into was an exciting opportunity and re-invigorated my professional drive at work.”

eglin air force base b-1b lancer

Preflight checks are performed on a B-1 Lancer prior to take off Aug. 1 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The 53rd Wing bomber was flown from Dyess AFB, Texas, to allow wing personnel an opportunity to see one of their geographically separated aircraft up close. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

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eglin air force base B-1B Lancer

Capt. Mike Costello, 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron, performs B-1 Lancer preflight checks prior to take off from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Aug. 1. Aircrew brought the 53rd Wing bomber from Dyess AFB, Texas, to allow wing personnel an opportunity to see one of their geographically separated aircraft up close. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

eglin airforce base B-1B lancer takeoff

A B-1 Lancer lifts off from the runway at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Aug. 1. Aircrew brought the 53rd Wing bomber from Dyess AFB, Texas, to allow wing personnel an opportunity to see one of their geographically separated aircraft up close. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Despite being an Air Combat Command wing, the 53d Wing is responsible for the operational testing, evaluating and optimizing, using electronic warfare, every bomber (as well as every fighter, remotely piloted aircraft and more) in the U.S. Air Force.

“Airmen are what makes the Air Force excellent,” said Mathis. “By seeing the weight, size and bomb bays of these aircraft, it emphasized the importance of our team’s work as well as the individual’s impact to the mission.”

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