DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Airmen are loaded and the crew doing their final checks before the wheels will go airborne, taking the trek about 150 miles east.
“They’re going to see how little support they can take in sort of an unprepared location,” said Major General Jim Dawkins, Commander of the Eighth Air Force.
For this crew, that landed them in Fort Worth, as part of an exercise that’s working on a new skill set for the changing world.
“We have well built-up bases with lots of infrastructure and those can be seen as a big target, so if we can become more agile and go to less-prepared places, we can operate quicker and again make it difficult for the adversary or an enemy to target us,” said Major General Dawkins.
During the exercise, the group will work on coupling a small footprint with continuous combat power, with the Ninth Bomb Squadron’s Major Colt tagging along for the trip.
“The wing was notified 72 hours in advance, so they’ve had a challenge to develop a plan to come up with the cargo needed, the personnel needed, and then get everything in motion,” said Major Colt.
“They’re going to meet up with the maintenance team, all the maintainers and operators, and practice getting a jet ready to go back again for a combat sortie,” said Major General Dawkins.
The crew is responsible for all work, from the descent to refueling, servicing, and getting a new crew in the seats.
“When you’re forced to go out and operate in a familiar environment, you become innovative on getting the mission done,” said Major General Dawkins.
With all the work also comes a chance for these guys to build a team.
“They feel like they are trusted enough to take some national level assets, if you will, and they love it,” said Major General Dawkins.
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