B-1B bombers from Dyess Air Force Base (AFB), Texas, were everywhere from south of the equator to just outside the Arctic circle last week as they flew missions and training exercises across the Western hemisphere, Air Force Magazine reports.
As told by Senior Airman Colin Hollowell, 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs, in the article B-1s border the Arctic for Baked Alaskan; enhance ACE practices, two B-1B Lancers and approximately 50 Airmen assigned to Dyess engaged in an Agile Combat Employment exercise, Baked Alaskan, at Eielson AFB, Alaska, Sep. 9-10, 2022.
The Dyess teams tested new technology, simulated joint tactics and long-range strike capabilities with fighter aircraft, and took on new ground roles, allowing the units to improve tactics, techniques, and procedures.
One of the key objectives of this mission was to operationalize the ACE concept by sending Dyess Airmen to a different region. It also employed the Multi Capable Airman construct, where Airmen were tasked with fulfilling multiple duties outside of their traditional Air Force Specialty Code on the flightline.
“As a crew chief, our team was responsible for quick turning the jets for takeoff,” said Airman First Class Nicholas Deanda, 7th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief. “After we accomplished our traditional duties, we were utilized as Petroleum, Oil, and Lubrication, troops. This is an example of how we as crew chiefs can be multi-capable, accomplishing a variety of mission sets which reduces our personnel footprint.”
Multi Capable Airmen is an initiative that directly supports ACE, which is a proactive and reactive operational scheme of maneuver within threat timelines to increase resiliency and survivability while generating combat power, by training Airmen to be capable of accomplishing tasks outside of the core AFSC.
During the Baked Alaskan exercise, Dyess Airmen and reserve mission partners deployed two B-1s from home station to Eielson AFB. While there, they tested fly away communication kits, conducted routine maintenance and armament reloading, and integrated with a variety of joint force aircraft to include F-35s, F-16s, F-15Cs, E-3Gs, and KC-46s, all with the intent of redeploying the aircraft back to home station on a compressed timeline.
Instead as told by 1st Lt. Kaitlin Cashin, 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs, in the article B-1Bs conduct CONUS to CONUS Bomber Task Force Mission in support of SOUTHCOM, on Sep. 7, 2022 B-1B Lancers departed Dyess AFB in support of a bomber task force mission to the USSOUTHCOM area of responsibility.
During this mission, B-1 aircrews integrated with partner nations in the USSOUTHCOM AOR, air refueled with the support of MacDill AFB tankers, and countered illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing operations off the coast of Ecuador in the vicinity of the Galapagos Islands.
“This kind of regional military engagement strengthens our partnership with Ecuador and Panama and enhances interoperability and improves our collective readiness for a range of potential future operations – from disaster relief to humanitarian assistance to security operations. When our forces train alongside one another we improve our ability to work together in times of crisis,” USSOUTHCOM leadership said.
“There are certain things that only Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen can do, and this is one of them. Based on the Airmen we have in this room, we can fly this mission and then turnaround and regenerate in a matter of hours – we make it look easy, but it’s tough work,” said Col. John C. McClung, 7th Operations Group commander.
Col. Joseph Kramer, 7th BW commander, congratulated the aircrews on their departure and pointed to the strategic significance of the mission. He said, “We are in competition in our own hemisphere. These bomber missions demonstrate our ability to respond to threats in today’s complex, dynamic and volatile global security environment anytime, anywhere.”
Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Joshua Hastings and Senior Airman Colin Hollowell / U.S. Air Force
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