INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
Airmen from the 39th Air Base Wing underwent cross-discipline training during the second installment of the Agile Combat Employment concept at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Dec. 16-18, 2020.
Airmen from multiple career fields participated in ACE training to build up skills in security, fuels, airfield management and weather operations should those areas require additional manning in deployed or emergency situations.
ACE ensures U.S. Air Forces in Europe, allied militaries, and partner nations are ready for potential short or no-notice contingencies. To achieve this capability, USAFE is asking units to explore how forces can operate with varying levels of capacity and support, while bolstering mission completion abilities. One way to do this is by training Airmen to function multiple positions.
“Our Airmen are capable of filling a needed role on demand, that’s always been true,” said Maj. Matthew Hemenway, 39th Logistics Readiness Squadron director of operations and ACE training lead. “This ACE training will not only provide consistent training in other disciplines but will allow leadership more flexibility in making critical mission decisions down-range or when the unexpected happens.”
The second iteration of training has seen some changes and upgrades from its initial undertaking, adding more Airmen in improved and more varied training scenarios.
“We’ve adapted more techniques and tools for process improvement, which has given our students more time doing hands-on training,” said Airman 1st Class Axel Angel Rojas, 39th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels laboratory technician and ACE instructor. “I fully expect that Airmen continuing to practice this training will be able to more efficiently and effectively switch roles to meet mission demands.”
ACE is designed in response to the U.S. National Defense Strategy, by being strategically predictable, but operationally unpredictable. For these Airmen, the request was met by learning from each other on how to complete objectives.
“It’s fun to be able to see other things the Air Force does and work in jobs outside the career field that you’re accustomed to,” said Staff Sgt. Jacob Smith, 39th Maintenance Squadron crash recovery specialist. “I’m originally a crew chief, so working with fuels hands-on gives me the perspective of being in their shoes. Not only do I know how to fuel a plane now, but I understand the work-related challenges my counterparts face.”
The 39th Air Base Wing will continue to develop the ACE concept to make us more agile in our execution, more strategic in our deterrence, and more resilient in our capability. Agility, deterrence, and resiliency are essential to defense and operational capability in any environment- and particularly when being tasked with defending NATO’s southern flank.