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B-1s border Arctic for Baked Alaskan; enhance ACE practices

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Colin Hollowell
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Two B-1B Lancers and approximately 50 Airmen assigned to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, engaged in an Agile Combat Employment exercise, Baked Alaskan, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Sept. 9-10. 
 
The Dyess AFB 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 AFB 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 flight line. 
 
“As a crew chief, our team was responsible for quick-turning the jets for takeoff,” said Airman 1st 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.” 

 

 
The multi-capable Airmen initiative 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 AFB 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-35A Lightning IIs, F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-15C Eagles, E-3G Sentrys, and KC-46A Pegasus, all with the intent of redeploying the aircraft back to home station on a compressed timeline. 
 
Col. David Martinez, 489th Bomb Group commander, joined the team in Alaska for the exercise. 
 
“This exercise showcased the seamless integration of our traditional reservists with their active-duty counterparts,” Martinez said. “Deliberate, planning, training, and inclusion ensures Reserve readiness and accessibility, and preserves the combat power of the Total Force.” 
 
“I am proud of our Total Force Airmen from Dyess for taking the initiative in planning and executing this exercise,” said Col. Joseph Kramer, 7th BW commander. “The bomber ACE construct has evolved into a mission-type which could include a sortie generation from home station to an area of responsibility and then recovery to a different main or forward operating base. The 7th BW must be prepared to execute in this way. Through exercises like Baked Alaskan, we are training to be prepared to fight tonight.”