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More than 350 airmen recently returned to Dyess AFB, Texas, after a six-month deployment to the Arabian Gulf region where they supported B-1B operations participating in three separate missions—Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, and Operation Inherent Resolve. While deployed to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing at Al Udeid AB, Qatar, the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron carried out a blistering pace of strikes, dropping more than 2,000 bombs in the performance of close air support missions, a “significant increase” in weapons drops compared to the squadron’s 2013 deployment. Flying in support of OIR sorties over Iraq and Syria, B-1s accounted for 23 percent of sorties involving weapons releases during CAS sorties in the first two months of the operation, and were the lead package during the first night of strikes in Syria, said Lt. Col. Ed Sumangil, the 9th Bomb Squadron Commander. B-1Bs continue to prosecute strikes as part of OIR. The 9th BS airmen were recently replaced by a deployment from Ellsworth AFB, S.D., who arrived at Al Udeid in late January.