Coronet Bat

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Coronet Bat was a 1995 U.S. Air Force exercise where two B-1B Lancers flew around-the-world non-stop with air-refueling on a practice bombing mission to ranges on three different continents, Europe, Asia and North America.

At around 3am on June 2, 1995, four B-1B's launched from Dyess AFB in Texas commanded by (then) Lt Col Doug Raaberg as pilot of the lead aircraft,[1] nicknamed "Hellion" (tail number 85-057), accompanied by "Global Power" (tail number 85-082),[2] with the other two bombers serving the role of "airborne spares" in case they were needed to take over for any problems with the two primary aircraft (these were named "Bad to the B-one" and "Black Widow" and were recovered at Langley AFB, Virginia and Lajes Field in the Azores). The servicemen flying the aircraft were Capt. Gerald Goodfellow, Capt. Kevin Clotfelter, Capt. Rick Carver, Capt. Chris Stewart, Capt. Steve Adams, Capt. Kevin Houdek and Capt. Steve Reeves.[3] Requiring six air refuelings, the two B-1B's performed practice bombing runs over the Pachino Range, Italy, the Torishima Range near Kadena Air Base in the western Pacific, and the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR), dropping BDU-50 inert, concrete-filled 500-pound munitions (practice versions of the Mark 82 bomb) on these three targets.[4]

The total flight time was 36 hours and 13 minutes with an average speed of 631.16 mph (1,015.75 km/h)[5] across a route that went over the North Atlantic, through the Strait of Gibraltar, across the Mediterranean, south to the Indian Ocean, north over the Pacific Ocean to the Aleutian Islands then southeast to the west coast of the US back to a landing at the starting point of Dyess AFB.[1] All eight crew members completing the around-the-world flight were awarded the Mackay Trophy.[6]

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