U.S. Air Force Airmen from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas and Little Rock AFB, Arkansas participated in multiple Bomber Agile Combat Employment Exercises recently.
The goal is to improve Dyess AFB’s aptitude to deploy B-1B Lancer bomber aircraft personnel and equipment to unfamiliar locations worldwide and on short notice in support of combatant commander objectives.
Most recently in support of those objectives, the exercise took participating aircraft and Airmen to Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina and Robins AFB, Georgia in order to test their ability to deploy to multiple locations in the least amount of time possible.
“The intent of BACE is to stress and test our readiness and support capabilities to take the B-1B Lancer, rapidly deploy it to a location, and from there, redeploy it to the next place in the timeliest manner possible,” said Capt. David Teubl, 9th Bomb Squadron chief of training.
A key part of the training involves sending Airmen and equipment to bases the 7th Bomb Wing hasn’t trained at before. This allows them to simulate deploying to, and operating from, unfamiliar locations with limited bomber support functions in order to easily adapt to a variety of potential real-world operational requirements.
“BACE gives us the opportunities to practice critical readiness skills, such as preparation of deployable equipment for transportation, mission planning, and loading and off-loading cargo,” said Maj. Andrew West, 7th BW senior intelligence officer. “This also lets us test the boundaries of how quickly and efficiently we can complete those tasks.”
The training encourages Dyess Airmen to experiment with minimum equipment and personnel while developing multi-functional/hybrid Airmen concepts.
“BACE seeks to assess what we can and cannot operate without by challenging and testing the previous normal level of support we’re all used to,” said West. “The 7th BW aircrew and all of the maintenance and support personnel required to operate the B-1 are tested to their limits and encouraged to reimagine their bomber combat capability.”
In addition to the B-1s, BACE also includes multiple C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from both Dyess and Little Rock AFB for the purpose of transporting personnel and essential equipment that allow the execution of the bomber mission in unfamiliar locations.
“BACE cannot happen without Dyess’ airlift counterparts,” said West. “The ability to quickly deploy all of the maintenance and support functions for the B-1 require rapid and adaptable airlift that our C-130s can supply. The 317th Airlift Wing has been an outstanding mission partner in this endeavor as true experts in the field.”
Overall, BACE is designed to enable bomber forces to rapidly deploy to unfamiliar locations and self-sustain operations for an extended period of time. With the goal of ensuring airpower resiliency and operational capability in potentially contested environments, Dyess Airmen have and will continue to test their abilities no matter the situation.
“We look at BACE as more of an experiment than an exercise,” said Teubl. “This means that as we assess our capabilities and test our efficiency in unaccustomed situations, we’re going to find the areas in which we need improvement as well as catch any failures and say ‘okay lets learn from this and move forward’.”
By Senior Airman Kylee Thomas, 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs / Published March 25, 2020