- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 4, 2018

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Ellsworth Air Force Base airmen and two B-1 bombers have returned to Southwest Asia.

The Air Force says it’s the first B-1 deployment to the region since 2016 when the planes were pulled back for critical upgrades. The $127 million upgrade involved installing an integrated battle station. Half of the 62-bomber fleet has been upgraded with the rest to be done by the end of next year.

KOTA-TV reports the Ellsworth B-1 bombers landed at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar last weekend. They’ll fly missions in support of troops battling terrorists.

Ellsworth’s most recent B-1 bomber deployment was in the Pacific around the Korean Peninsula - a mission that ended in January.

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Information from: KOTA-TV, http://www.kotatv.com

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