WAIT! Why is an anti-submarine warfare plane practising touch-and-goes at an airport in central Wyoming?

It's not like we have a lot of Russian or Chinese submarines in the few Wyoming lakes we have.

This post was on the Facebook page for the Casper/Natrona County International Airport.

Today we had a Navy P8 Poseidon doing touch-and-go's.

According to Wikipedia, "the Boeing P-8 Poseidon is an American maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft developed and produced by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, and derived from the civilian Boeing 737-800. It was developed for the United States Navy (USN).


The P-8 operates in anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) roles.

It is armed with torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons, can drop and monitor sonobuoys, and can operate in conjunction with other assets, including the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)."

They are a little far inland, aren't they?

This airport is mostly for commercial and private airplanes.

But it began as a training ground for B-17 and B-24 heavy bombers during World War II, the base ceased operations in 1945.

The Casper/Natrona County International Airport is a hub of activity, supporting more than 40 businesses as well as general (or private) aviation.

Hang around this airport long enough and something interesting will always happen.

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The picture above is an actual photo of a B-1B flying over the runway at the Natrona County Airport in Casper, Wyoming.

As most people in Wyoming know, Natrona County International Airport was originally a training base for World War II bombers and fighters.

The long heavy runways were constructed to train young aviators before they were sent off to the European or Pacific wars.


Today, it's a regular airport for private and commercial traffic. But that doesn't mean it's no longer used for military training.

Blackhawk helicopters regularly land there.

Wyoming Air National Guard C1-30s touch and go on a regular basis.

More recently, a B-1B Lancer did a few "touch and go's." That must have been an exciting site for those working at the airport.

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For those airplane GEEKS out there (people like me...)

The B-1 was designed in the 1960s as a platform that would combine the Mach 2 speed with a long-range. Most airplanes could only do one or the other.

After a long series of studies, Rockwell International (now part of Boeing) won the design contest for what emerged as the B-1A. What you see in the photo above is the B-1B over Casper runway 21. The video is below.

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Nicknamed “The Bone,” the B-1B Lancer is a long-range, multi-mission, supersonic conventional bomber, which has served the United States Air Force since 1985. The aircraft is on track to continue flying, at current demanding operations tempo, out to 2040 and beyond, and Boeing partners with the Air Force to keep the B-1 mission ready. Originally designed for nuclear capabilities, the B-1 switched to an exclusively conventional combat role in the mid-1990s.

In 1999, during Operation Allied Force, six B-1s flew 2 percent of the strike missions, yet dropped 20 percent of the ordnance, and during Operation Enduring Freedom the B-1 flew on 2 percent of the sorties while dropping over 40 percent of the precision weapons. The B-1 has been nearly continuously deployed in combat operations over Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001.(BOEING).

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I only wish we could provide for you the actual, in-person audio of what one of these things sounds like up close.

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