Ellsworth hosts Combat Raider training to prepare for upcoming deployment

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ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. - Ellsworth Air Force Base saw an increase in activity Wednesday, with the start of their Combat Raider Training Exercise.

Ellsworth B-1B Lancers joined various aircraft, including four A-10 Warthog fighters from Kansas City, Mo. in a joint military exercise over the Powder River Training Complex to prepare for their next deployment, a few months away. The exercise provides realistic scenarios that simulates a full spectrum of operations against modern threats and replicates today's combat operations overseas.

"What we are training towards is very dynamic [operation], and there are a lot of potential what ifs that could arise while we are training toward that,” said Capt. Richard Hansen, with the 34th Bomb Squadron. “We like to give ourselves as much leeway and lead time leading up to that deployment as possible, so that we can introduce our air crews and the people that we are training to as many different scenarios as possible, so that when they see it out in combat, it's potentially not the first time they have actually had to deal with a situation like that."

Combat Raider will conclude Thursday, but during the exercise, Ellsworth officials are advising people living under the Powder River Two and Gateway West areas to expect multiple types of aircraft utilizing the areas simultaneously. VIEW MAP

 In addition, non-military aircraft are asked to avoid areas and altitudes where military aircraft are participating.

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