The ability to operate in an austere environment is one factor that makes the Air Force massively effective and lethal. Aircraft like the C-17 and C-130 can rapidly fly-in equipment necessary to rapidly set up a base. A-10s can also operate from unimproved strips. Within hours, flat terrain can be turned into a base.
Recently, the Air Force Weapons School from Nellis Air Force Base held an exercise at Texas Lake. Texas Lake is a dry lake bed that is part of the Nevada Test and Training Range. The exercise focused on combat search and rescue capabilities. That is rescuing a downed or missing service member.
Operations from austere environments are challenging. The dirt can be choking for personnel and result in increased wear and tear on engines, antennas, plexiglass, and landing gear.
In the video below, you’ll see some high quality footage of the A-10, C-130, and C-17 arriving and departing from Texas Lake. While it’s just “B-Roll” footage, it shows how the Air Force is finally taking video more seriously as a medium to tell a story. The quality footage was filmed by A1C Julian Kemper.