Ellsworth Air Force Base

Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. John Winn

Reductions in force at Ellsworth Air Force Base usually trigger alarm bells in South Dakota’s congressional delegation. 

But this time, Republican Sen. Mike Rounds agrees with a plan to retire some of the base’s planes. 

Col. John Edwards To Leave Ellsworth AFB

May 29, 2019

In The Moment ... May 29, 2019 Show 584 Hour 1

U.S. Air Force Col. John Edwards has been at the helm of the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base since 2017. Edwards is a master combat systems officer with more than 2500 flight hours including 237 combat hours.

Edwards is handing the baton to Col. David Doss.

In The Moment ... March 28, 2019 Show 545 Hour 2

In a joint press release Wednesday, South Dakota's Congressional delegation and Governor Kristi Noem issued statements with their resounding support following the U.S. Air Force's announcement that Ellsworth Air Force Base has been selected to receive the first B-21 training and operational squadron.

U.S. Senator John Thune explains how the B-21 enhances Ellsworth Air Force Base.

Reporting on politics and public policy is supported by The Center for Western Studies at Augustana University

Ellsworth Air Force Base

In The Moment ... October 22. 2018 Show 445 Hour 1

U.S. Senator John Thune was in South Dakota to see the latest large force exercise in the expanded Powder River Training Complex.

In 2005, Ellsworth Air Force Base was at risk of being shuttered. Today it is in position to be named one of the nation's three new homes to the B-21 fleet of aircraft.

The In The Moment team spoke with Senator John Thune last Friday.

Adria Botella

In The Moment ... July 23, 2018 Show 384 Hour 1

We're broadcasting live this week from SDPB's Black Hills Studio. One of the stories we wanted to tell this week is the history of Ellsworth Air Force Base and its role in the defense of our nation.

Who better to talk with than the man who wrote the book on Ellsworth.

Retired Lt. Col. George Larson wrote "Thunder over Dakota." He's also active in the Black Hills Veterans Writing Group and encourages veterans throughout the region to record their stories.


In The Moment ... September 20, 2017 Show 181 Hour 2

From trouble on social media to a next-generation bomber, it's time for a closer look at the top stories in the state with our Dakota Political Junkies. Today we welcome Denise Ross and Jonathan Ellis.

Chynna Lockett

In The Moment ... June 19, 2017 Show 117 Hour 2


We look back now at the Cold War, when notions of a nuclear attack from the Soviets was considered a strong possibility and South Dakotans prepared to defend the nation. George A. Larson is an author, historian, and a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force. He joins us now to talk about his latest book, "The 54th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron."


In The Moment ... February 9, 2017 Show 027 Hour 1

"Dogs exhibit heroism under fire in extreme combat," says Jim Dugan (USAF ret) of Rapid City who will talk about his Vietnam War experiences as a dog handler, while headquartered at Tan Son Nhut Air Base.  Sponsored by the Black Hills Veterans Writing Group, the free family event on Saturday, February 11 will take place at Ellsworth Air Force Base's South Dakota Air and Space Museum, starting at 9 am.

RCPD Investigating Ellsworth Airman's Death

Jan 4, 2017

Officials at Ellsworth Air Force Base just outside Rapid City say an active-duty airman of the 28th Bomb Wing was found dead at his residence Jan. 3.
They will not release his name until 24 hours after his family is notified.  
Second lieutenant Miranda Simmons says the death is a loss for the entire base community.

Dakota Midday: Operation Black Hills Cabin Speaker

Nov 10, 2016

Retired Air Force Major Bob Liebman is one of the presenters at Saturday's Operation Black Hills Cabin, an event hosted by the Black Hills Veterans Writers Group. Liebman and other post-9/11 veterans will share stories about their military service during this special Veteran's Day weekend event. The public is welcome to attend. A reception is being held prior to Saturday's event at 9:00 a.m. at the Air and Space Museum at Ellsworth Air Force Base. Liebman was a weapons systems specialist on the B-1B.

WWII Veteran Harold Jansen To Speak At Ellsworth

Aug 6, 2015

WWII veteran Harold Jansen of Rapid City will talk about his experiences as a U.S. Navy Ensign when the United States sought to retake the Philippines during the Battle of Leyte in October, 1944.  His presentation, sponsored by the Black Hills Veterans Writing Group, takes place on Saturday from 9:00-11:30 a.m.

Advance Health has announced it's locating a new office and customer service center in an unused building at Ellsworth Air Force Base. Company officials say the new site is its third location and they expect to fill more than 200 jobs during the next three-to-five years.

From 1991 to 2001, the West African country of Sierra Leone went through a brutal civil war that left over 50,000 people dead. In September of 2010, the UN Security Council lifted its last remaining sanctions against the country, saying the government had fully re-established control and former rebel fighters had been disarmed and demobilized. But the disastrous effects of the civil war are still felt as reconstruction efforts slow economic recovery.

28th Bomb Wing Commander

Apr 17, 2014

Ellsworth Air Force Base is home to the 28th Bomb Wing, one of only two B-1B Lancer strategic bomber wings in the United States Air Force.  Earlier this month, Ellsworth officials announced that the base will downsize personnel this year as part of a nationwide shift in Air Force funding priorities.  As the military draws down troops in Afghanistan, the Air Force is developing new aircraft, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the KC-46 tanker and a new long-range strike bomber.  The talk of downsizing personnel comes at the same time Ellsworth has undertaken base improvements and renov

Refurbishing B-1 Bombers

Apr 7, 2014

Last month the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and Ellsworth Air Force Base signed an agreement formalizing a relationship for collaborative projects such as the application of a revolutionary research technology to refurbish aging bombers. The university's partnership with Ellsworth has already helped return four B-1s to service and could save the military millions of dollars.

Training Complex Expansion

Apr 1, 2014

The Department of Defense wants to increase the airspace it uses to train its B1 bombers and other aircraft.  The proposed expansion quadruples the training airspace the military currently uses, covering a huge swath over parts of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota.  Air Force officials say expanding the training airspace for military aircraft makes practice missions more like the real world.  But farmers like Anita Lee in Meade County are urging the federal government not to approve the expansion project.  Pilot and South Dakota aviation historian Norma Kramer also expressed h



Ellsworth Air Force Base just outside of Rapid City controls a handful of remotely piloted aircraft called MQ-9 Reapers. Base officials say these unmanned aircraft are conducting surveillance, gathering intelligence, and performing reconnaissance missions in the skies over Afghanistan - from right here in South Dakota.

Mystery and speculation often surround remotely piloted aircraft – they’re known for being ultra-stealthy. They’re relatively quiet, they fly by night, and they’re unmanned so they’re able to venture deep into enemy territory to gather intelligence.

"Thunder Over Dakota"

Aug 29, 2013

"Thunder Over Dakota: The History of Ellsworth Air Force Base 1941-2011" is the latest book by Lt. Col. George Larson (USAF-Ret.).  Larson returned to Dakota Midday to discuss his research about Ellsworth's units, planes, personnel and place in history.

A B-1 Bomber from Ellsworth Air Force base crashed over Broadus Montana early Monday morning. Officials say all four crew members escaped with only minor injuries.

Base officials say the Ellsworth B-1 crew was on a standard training mission in the Powder River MOA, or military operating area in Montana. Officials say the cause of the B-1 Bomber crash is not yet known, but crew members did eject and parachute to safety. Survivors were transported to the Spearfish and Rapid City hospitals for treatment. Their names are not being released at this time.

Ellsworth B-1 Bomber Crashes Over Montana

Aug 19, 2013

A B-1 Bomber from Ellsworth Air Force base went down near Broadus, Montana Monday morning at around 9:30 Mountain time. Air Force Base officials say all four airmen escaped safely. No names are being released at this time.

Colonel Kevin Kennedy is the 28th Bomb Wing Commander at Ellsworth. He says he is not sure of flight conditions at the time of the crash, but says the crew was on a routine training mission involving low and high altitude flights.

Ellsworth A.F.B. Furloughs

May 20, 2013
Ellsworth Air Force Base

Ellsworth Air Force Base is requiring more than 550 people take furlough days.  Col. Kevin Kennedy joined Dakota Midday to explain how the furloughs will impact people at the base and how Ellsworth fairs in the greater context of budget cuts across government.

Ellsworth Air Force Base announced it will furlough 566 civilian employees. The employees are asked to take leave for eleven non-consecutive days. Officials say this is a result of the Sequestration and cuts in the federal budget.

Colonel Kevin Kennedy is the Commander of the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth. He says this furlough will affect individuals that work in operations, medical, support, and maintenance on the base. He says although eighty-five percent of the work force is not affected, productivity will inevitably slow down.