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AF Reserve stands up B-1 unit at Dyess

  • Published
  • By Airman Quay Drawdy
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The 489th Bomb Group was reactivated as an Air Force Reserve unit during a ceremony here Oct. 17.

The 307th Bomb Wing's newly reactivated 489th BG, which encompasses more than 250 Airmen across the 345th Bomb Squadron, 489th Maintenance Squadron and the 489th Aerospace Medical Flight, will be working closely with the 7th Bomb Wing, providing a formal training mission and combat support operations as the first-ever B-1B Lancer-occupied Air Force Reserve unit. The unit will be furthering Total Force Integration, which aims to integrate active duty Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard components by using the B-1B Lancers at Dyess for their mission.

"We are fairly small and have been trying to get integrated and be a part of this team, and we are pleased with the 7th Bomb Wing's reception," said Maj. Stephanie Treadaway, 489th BG executive officer. "Everyone from leadership level to Airmen has been extremely helpful. We want to be here, and we are very excited for this new transition."

The influx of Airmen and their families that will be a part of the 489th BG will add several hundred people to the Abilene community.

"I'd say the community is excited about having more Airmen," said Bob Christopher, honorary commander for the 7th BW vice commander. "People are the driving machines for us. The Airmen spend their money on Abilene, Abilene spends its money on Dyess and vice versa. It all flows together and does us good."

Establishing an Air Force Reserve unit helps retain Airmen already trained in their fields when they choose to leave active duty, allowing reservists to collaborate with active duty members in a local environment. Working so closely creates better working relationships, benefitting both parties when deployed while also providing the Air Force with a larger force when needed.

"Now, more than ever, our nation demands dominance from our Air Force," said Col. Bruce Cox, 307th BW commander. "As the Air Force Reserve Command's only bomber wing, it is my great honor to partner with the 7th Bomb Wing in the B-1 mission area. The citizen-Airmen of the 489th are incredibly excited to join the professional Airmen of the 7th Bomb Wing in their quest to fly, fight and win with the mighty BONE."

The 489th Bombardment Group was first activated on Oct. 1, 1943, at Wendover Army Air Field, Utah. The newly-formed group trained with the B-24 Liberator before entering combat for the first time on May 30, 1944. The 489th BG supported the landings in Normandy and flew missions into Germany, bombing strategic targets and was part of food drops for Allied Forces in France.

"We were all just proud to be there," said Edmund Myles, a retired armored gunner from the former 489th Bombardment Group. "There was a job to do, and I did it to the best of my abilities. We all did."

The group was inactivated on Oct. 17, 1945, nearly two months after the end of World War II, and was reactivated exactly 70 years later.