Last week, electric aerospace company BETA Technologies joined the Air National Guard in an agile combat employment (ACE) and domestic response exercise based out of the Savannah Air Dominance Center/Combat Readiness Training Center.
Operating alongside various Air National Guard units and military aircraft, BETA’s ALIA CTOL served as the first electric aircraft to participate in a complex Agile Combat Employment scenario, demonstrating its operational capabilities in a week-long military mission assessment sequence.
The ACE exercise, which was hosted by the Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center, included more than 350 Airmen from six states. During the event, those participating completed various mission exercises to demonstrate capabilities and readiness, including relocating to bases swiftly and without a central command, operating in dispersed locations, and simulating attack and casualty scenarios.
In a mission simulating the European theater, BETA’s ALIA CTOL served as a cargo aircraft for multiple flights daily, integrating into scenario response alongside National Guard aircraft. BETA moved cargo from a starting base in Savannah to three surrounding locations, conducting 16 sorties over the five day exercise, greatly enhancing the Air Force’s mission generation capabilities.
BETA’s ALIA displayed effective response time and readiness upon dispatch, supporting the Airmen conducting live exercise operations with key resource transport and short-notice medical missions.
Specific missions that BETA’s ALIA completed during the exercise included tactical resupply, simulated casualty evacuation, and aircraft ground support equipment delivery to the main base in advance of an evacuation.
“Participating in this mission was an important opportunity for us to demonstrate real-world utility and move from development testing to operationally relevant testing,” said Kyle Clark, BETA’s CEO and Founder.
“To support and operate alongside more 350 active duty airmen from across the country was an incredible moment for learning and advancement as ALIA moves closer and closer to in-market operations.”
BETA’s participation in these live exercises demonstrates the key impacts electric aviation can have on military services, including faster mission generation and response time, critical cargo transport efficiency, and cost efficiency. This simulated mission also showcased that electric aviation not only fits seamlessly into military operations, but requires fewer resources for operation and demonstrates enhanced rapid response capabilities.
This exercise comes off the heels of BETA wrapping its deployment with the DoD at Eglin AFB/Duke Field.
BETA’s long-standing partnership with AFWERX under the Agility Prime Program began in 2020 and has led to collaborations with the Air Force and Army that have helped accelerate the development and adoption of electric aviation and infrastructure within the U.S. military and commercial market.
Through this partnership, BETA became the first electric aircraft developer to receive an airworthiness certificate for manned flight from the military while also having conducted the industry’s only manned qualitative evaluation flights with test pilots from the Air Force and Army.
BETA’s ALIA flew through the Class Bravo airspace of Boston and New York and became the first electric aircraft to fly through the Flight Restricted Zone of Washington, D.C. to stop at Joint Base Andrews on the way to its deployment at Eglin.
BETA continues to progress its all-electric aircraft, ALIA CTOL and ALIA VTOL, toward FAA certification, anticipating entry into service in 2025 and 2026, respectively. Late last year, the company opened the doors to its 188,500 square foot aircraft production facility in South Burlington, Vermont, where it has begun manufacturing these aircraft on its production line.
This press release was prepared and distributed by BETA Technologies.