Agile Combat Employment: the future of the 48th Fighter Wing

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessi Monte

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England — The 492nd Fighter Squadron completed a three-day Agile Combat Employment exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Jan. 13, 2020.

Four F-15E Strike Eagles and a 14-Airmen maintenance team with limited support equipment participated in a simulated deployment to a forward-operating base on the north side of the RAF Lakenheath airfield. Airmen and aircrew underwent cross-discipline training, learning new skill sets from their peers in other career fields.

“We had a subject matter expert from each career field, and we were all learning and executing each other's duties,” said Capt. David Spieker, 492nd Fighter Squadron F-15E pilot. “It helps everyone gain an appreciation of each other's jobs and makes cooperation more successful in the future.”

The ACE concept aims to develop Airmen who are adept in disciplines outside of their normal day-to-day duties. Exercises like this contribute to the evolution of a force of multi-capable Airmen and aircrew, improving mission readiness and increasing capabilities in less than optimal environments.

As part of the training to accomplish the mission at a forward-operating base, two of the aircraft landed at RAF Leuchars Airfield in Scotland on Monday, Jan. 11 for refueling.

“The visit of two 48th Fighter Wing F-15’s was a great example of a well-planned and proficiently executed mission,” said Squadron Leader Barry Flynn, Officer Commanding Leuchars Diversion Airfield. “The USAF planners did an exceptional job of keeping Leuchars informed of requirements and timings, which ensured a smooth-running operation. This visit is hopefully the first step of a friendship between the 48th Fighter Wing and Leuchars Airfield.”

Agile Combat Employment reduces the personnel footprint required to deploy forces on short-notice or no-notice operations, ensuring Liberty Wing Airmen and aircrews are postured to respond across the spectrum of military operations. Utilizing these concepts improves mobility and interoperability with partners and allies, and ensures U.S. Air Forces in Europe are ready to deliver combat airpower when called upon.