Airmen from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and Little Rock AFB, Arkansas, completed a Bomber Agile Combat Employment (BACE) exercise at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas.

BACE
A B-1B Lancer pilot completes a helmet check during a Bomber Agile Combat Employment exercise at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, Dec. 12, 2019.  Image credit: US Air Force.

The training is part of a Dyess AFB initiative to develop and improve the ability to rapidly deploy the B-1B Lancer, personnel and equipment to austere or unfamiliar locations worldwide in support of Air Force and combatant command strategic objectives.

“As we look toward our future, and the threats we may encounter, this training will help us deploy and employ our aircraft and personnel quickly within much closer striking range of our adversary,” said Maj. Gen. Jim Dawkins Jr., Eighth Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander. “We want to be agile as we move around unpredictably with a small footprint. This experiment allows us to see how small our footprint can be while generating combat power.”

During the exercise, three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 317th Airlift Wing and the 19th Airlift Wing transported the equipment and personnel needed to successfully maintain and support flying operations for two B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing’s 9th Bomb Squadron.

Both the 317th Airlift Wing and the 7th Bomb Wing are stationed at Dyess AFB, making it the only Air Force base to host both bomber and transport aircraft at the same location.

“Integrating both of our wings allows us to practice and execute employment methods that would take a great deal of coordination if not geographically collocated,” said Lt. Col. Brenton Gaylord, 317th AW chief of safety. “Even though our wings have trained together before, this scenario is groundbreaking because it is developing new competencies in both communities preparing us to execute distributive operations in the future. The planning and logistics of organically integrating tactical airlift and strategic bombing assets without centralized command and control drives toward a level of agility that will be necessary in the Air Force going forward.”

The exercise also gave airmen across the base the opportunity to develop new competencies to help execute potential real-world operations.

Airmen with the 7th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron conducted minimum regeneration time maintenance on the B-1B Lancer, where they tested the proficiency of using airmen from multiple career fields, coming together, to launch aircraft as quickly as possible.

“Completing this training is important because the world is constantly changing and we need to be able to provide global power to combatant commanders throughout the world,” said Maj. Kolt, 9th Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancer instructor pilot. “As we continue to perform these types of exercises we are going to increase its complexity so we can successfully complete real-world missions like these, if and when, they come our way.”

Source: US Air Force