ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. (AP) – The U.S. military has chosen Ellsworth Air Force Base as the first training site for new B-21 bombers capable of launching thermonuclear weapons.
U.S. Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds said Wednesday the announcement means hundreds of new airmen and their families will come to the base and that will spur construction in the area. The Air Force says the planes are expected to arrive by the middle of next year.
The senators say Ellsworth will need to construct hangars, training areas, and facilities to store the thermonuclear weapons. Thune says that will have a positive impact on the local economy.
Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and Dyess Air Force Base in Texas will also get B-21 bombers later as they become available.