Rapid City, SD. – Ellsworth Air Force Base, located in western South Dakota, is being named as one of three bases to be evaluated to receive the first next-generation B-21 Raider Bombers.

“I welcome today’s decision to include Ellsworth Air Force Base as a candidate to be the first base to receive the new B-21 Raider bomber,” said Senator Mike Rounds. “It reaffirms the vital role Ellsworth plays in our national defense. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I will continue working with Secretary Wilson and others to make certain the Air Force fully considers the tremendous value of Ellsworth and the value to our nation of placing the B-21 there as soon as possible.”

In addition to Ellsworth, Dyess and Whiteman Air Force Bases will also be evaluated, with a decision expected in 2019.

Ellsworth Air Force Base currently houses B-1 bombers.

The new B-21 bombers were named “Raider” after the heroic Doolittle Raid flown in World War II. This raid was a daring attack on the Japanese mainland that proved to be a pivotal point in the Pacific, and the brave airmen that flew those missions were part of the 34th and 37th Bomb Squadrons at Ellsworth Air Force Base.