- "Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrt tank goes boom"
- —Kees Bakker
Kees "Buffle" Bakker, callsign Buffle. Ground attack plane pilots rarely get the same recognition as fighter pilots, even if they frequently face as much danger as fighter jockeys do, if not more. When Bakker was assigned to an attack squadron early in his career, he was keenly aware of that. Many pilots who see the plane that would become his workhorse throughout the years, the A-10, are unimpressed. The straight wings, the engines mounted in the rear, the thin fuselage, small twin rudders and many other of its features are not often considered aesthetically-pleasing, especially compared to those of a modern fighter jet. For Bakker, however, it was love at first sight. Getting to fly it only confirmed that love. He loved the 30m cannon on the nose, an extremely powerful tool of destruction, as well as the amount of missiles and bombs the plane could carry under its wings.
Bakker himself was a dependable pilot. Aggressive, but not overconfident. Much like his plane, his fighting style relied more on endurance and a good degree of brute force instead of precision, like a charging buffalo. Just as he had done during combat exercises, he would frequently surprise the pilots of faster and more capable fighter aircraft, who expected an easy kill on the slow attack aircraft, only for it to turn things around and down them with a well aimed missile or burst of 30mm cannon shells, something several OADF pilots had to learn the hard way. He would then use his bombs and rockets to inflict terror upon Osean ground units.
His first major clash with the OGDF was near Zapland on May 19, when the Oseans launched Operation Reaper. Rapidly gaining air superiority due to the large number of MQ-99 drones operating in the area, Bakker and the rest of the Erusean forces were able to inflict severe damage to the Osean troops on the ground with near impunity. The Osean troops were routed, losing almost two thirds of their forces in the battle in one of the costliest battles for Osea during the entire war. He and his squadron also attacked Comberth Harbor during Osea's Operation Balance, dealing significant damage to the Osean fleet and the facilities around them.
On August 19, 2019, Bakker was scrambled to attack Osean forces conducting Operation Dragon Breath, an attempt to repair the only of Stonehenge's railguns not damaged by ISAF forces during the Continental War. He approached Stonehenge and prepared to engage forces of Menhir 6, but he reported a problem with his plane's FCS, as a malfunction with his targeting computer did not allow him to use any of his air-to-ground ordnance. He hesitated for a short time, considering engaging the Osean forces using only his cannon, but as air superiority was far from secured and Erusean casualties kept mounting due to stiff opposition from the OADF he knew any attempt of attacking that way was suicidal. Kees was cleared to retreat, but before he could leave the battle area he was chased by planes from the LRSSG and shot down shortly after by the leader of Strider Squadron and killed him instantly.