The Adaptive Basing Trailer, a remote forward operating base for deploying multiple fighter aircraft, will test a final design in April 2022. The trailer will decrease deployment time for four F-15s and similar craft from 72 hours to as few as 5 hours.
This exercise will allow the trailer to demonstrate its capabilities in a truly remote setting with no cellphone service or nearby supplies. The success of this test will showcase the trailer’s broad range of capabilities as a critical tool to maintain air superiority and increase lethality.
The Adaptive Basing Trailer includes crew sustainability resources for multiple days and is secure against electronic surveillance. The compact and flexible design significantly reduces personnel, airpower, and deployment footprint requirements in an emergency.
To assist with reducing demand on airlift, the team partnered with Liquid Piston, a company funded by DARPA, to build a diesel engine ten times lighter than conventional diesel engines. Though the engine is still under development, the new design will be integrated once it reaches maturity.
The trailer is a top five Spark Tank finalist from 2019. Its designers, TSgt Matthew Steht and TSgt Cory Snyder, are crew chiefs at the 144th Maintenance Squadron at Fresno Air National Guard Base, California. When they first sketched their back-of-the-napkin idea for a rapidly deploying trailer, the idea of receiving funding for such a large-scale project was simply a pipe dream.
“I received a lot of backlash,” said TSgt Steht. “Many naysayers told me the project would not get funded.”
His leadership, however, saw the critical need that such a project would fulfill. They helped him pursue opportunities to pitch the idea to as many high-ranking officials who would listen. By the time the project competed in Spark Tank, it had gained a remarkable amount of traction and support and has received up to $2.8 million in funding to date.
The Adaptive Basing Trailer is a promising new technology that uproots outdated procedures to support further enhanced warfighting techniques for the U.S. and its allies in global defense.