52nd FW participates in ‘hot-pit refueling’ ACE exercise

  • Published
  • By By Airman 1st Class Alison Stewart
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Airmen at the 52nd Fighter Wing partnered with the 435th Contingency Response Squadron during an Agile Combat Employment exercise on May 28 at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

This ACE exercise was in conjunction with exercise Agile Wolf, and focused on “hot-pit refueling”, or the ability to refuel an F-16 Fighting Falcon in a fast paced environment without shutting off the aircraft’s engine.

The 52nd FW brought two of their aircraft to Ramstein AB, along with quality assurance and maintenance Airmen, to observe as Airmen from the 435th CRS, who normally refuel larger aircraft, tested their skills learned from training during the exercise.

“Exercise Agile Wolf is an exercise that the Contingency Response Group is conducting,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jayce England, 52nd FW superintendent, wing plans and programs. “We wanted to observe them cross-pollinate the aircraft, so we had C-130 guys refueling the F-16.”

In a normal setting, Airmen at Ramstein Air Base would rarely see F-16’s come through on their flightline.

It is important to exercise ACE frequently, so that Airmen are prepared to operate with a smaller, more flexible footprint.

“We need to remain agile,” said England. “It’s like a muscle memory. You want to do it routinely so that if we are called upon to execute this mission, we don’t think about it, we just go out and execute it.”

Many facets of ACE will continue in the coming weeks.

“A lot of these skills are expeditionary skills, and we try to develop multi-capable Airmen,” said Maj. William Tompkins, 52nd Operations Support Squadron senior intelligence officer. “It’s important to develop those skills not only for Spangdahlem, but for Ramstein and all of United States Air Forces in Europe as well.”