Team Barksdale highlights interoperability, ACE concept during exercise

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  • By 307th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
  • 307th Bomb Wing

Airmen from the active-duty 2nd Bomb Wing and Air Force Reserve 307th Bomb Wing teamed up with Nebraska Air National Guardsmen and Army Reserve soldiers to practice remote refueling capabilities on a B-52 Stratofortress during the Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise (QLLEX) June 6, 2024, at Lincoln Airport and Air National Guard Base, Nebraska.

The nine-hour mission, which refueled the B-52 using a portable fuel bladder system, highlighted the logistical interoperability of U.S. service members while practicing Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concepts designed to make Air Force combat operations more difficult for near-peer threats to predict.

“It gave us the opportunity to practice refueling at an airfield that can handle a B-52 but may not have the infrastructure in place to refuel one,” said Lt. Col. Samphun Tobler, 343rd Bomb Squadron director of operations. “That makes targeting harder for our adversaries because they don’t know where we are or where we can set up.”

Tobler also said the crew was able to practice unloading and reloading the jet’s drag chute in an off-base location. This task is typically performed at a home station where facilities exist to ease the process.

Along with the B-52, service members refueled a KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-46 Pegasus assigned to Air Mobility Command and a Nebraska Air National Guard C-130 Hercules.

This exercise has showcased the impressive capability of our joint force to tackle the tough scenarios,” said Col. Matthew Howard, 131st Bomb Wing deputy commander, who served as on-site commander for the effort. “It has been awesome watching members of the Air Force, Air National Guard, and Army Reserves to work so seamlessly to accomplish this mission and meet all exercise objectives.”