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Bamboo Eagle 24-1 lands at Edwards AFB

  • Published
  • By Laisa Leao
  • 412th Test Wing Public Affairs

The 412th Test Wing answered the call of duty in support of Bamboo Eagle, a live-fly exercise that teams over 3,000 servicemembers across four branches to fly, maintain and support more than 150 aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and other operating locations.

Combat warfighters are placed in a multi-domain, disaggregated high-end conflict, simulating the future of warfare during this large-scale exercise organized by the United States Weapons School located at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

A key element of the exercise requires units to operate in a location other than their home base to simulate a forward-deployed environment.

“Our main operating bases in the current environment against the peer adversaries cannot be assumed to be protected, so you have to distribute your operations across as many locations as you can to provide survivability for your forces and not depend on one secure site.” said Lt. Col. Robert Newton, 412th Operations Support Squadron commander.

Edwards was chosen because of the 412th Test Wing’s ability to support F-35 Lighting II operations with excellence.

“Edwards is particularly ideal for an exercise like Bamboo Eagle because it’s trying to address how we are going to operate in a hostile environment. And while we have the real estate and the airspace that we do, we have the maneuverability available to actually have all of these partners in the same place,” said Lt. Col. David Schmitt, 412th Operations Group commander.

On top of carrying on its daily activities related to Edwards’ day-to-day operations including flight test, the 412 OSS received F-35A’s from Hill AFB, Utah, F-35B’s from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, C-17 Globemaster IIIs, and C-130s added to the flight line, ramp, and airspace. Still, the OSS team proved to be ready to sustain Operational Agile Combat Employment – ACE – despite the additional heavy load.

Newton said the ACE concept is vital to how the Air Force will fight future conflicts and training exercises such as Bamboo Eagle affords multiple units across different branches the opportunity to “train how we fight.”

“The Operation Support Squadron provides all the roles that naturally fall into the Operations Group but don’t naturally fit into a flight squadron. Whether that’s airfield support, air traffic control, but also we have our aircrew fight equipment, our maintenance of the radars, all of those things are what we do day-in and day-out,” said Newton. “When we have a large force exercise that comes through, it gives us the opportunity to support all our partners, sister services, and partner nations, on this airfield because Edwards is the crown jewel that it is.”