Spangdahlem AB showcases Agile Combat Employment capabilities

  • Published
  • By Tech Sgt. Warren Spearman Jr.
  • 52nd Fighter Wing, Public Affairs

Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing conducted an ACE exercise at Ramstein Air Base, from Mar. 22, 2021, through Mar. 26, 2021, to ensure readiness for any short-notice threat that requires forces to rapidly deploy, disperse and maneuver combat capability throughout a theater.

ACE, or Agile Combat Employment, is an operational concept that allows forces to generate sorties from various locations with the support of multi-capable Airmen.

The Spangdahlem ACE team arrived at Ramstein on Monday, and immediately got to work, setting up their FOS, or Forward Operating Site.

There were two FOS’s, each having approximately 55 Airmen that operated as their own mini units.

“We had to bring our own tents, our own radios and computers, our own power equipment, so we had to be our own self-sustaining site,” said, Capt. Stephen Hunter, flight commander of the 52nd explosive ordnance disposal flight and the director of operations for FOS 2.

Once the sites were set up, and communications were up and running, the teams were able to start launching jets.

“When the team arrived here, what they were able to do in short order was amazing,” said Col. David Epperson, 52nd FW commander. “We had nothing, and fifteen minutes later, we had two tents set up and we had everything out and ready to go.”

The exercise called for Spangdahlem Airmen to support operations in a simulated adverse environment with minimal personnel, resources and time.  

Having minimal personnel allows ACE Airmen to become a jack-of-all-trades by learning how to help out other career fields.

“Getting to know maintenance was awesome,” said Technical Sgt. Rossmery Aragon-Leonard, an independent duty medical technician assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron, “I’ve been able to help a lot of people here with any medical needs, but the most fun has been doing maintenance, such as fueling [an F-16] and I also learned a little bit about electrical, so that was interesting.”

The exercise was a total team effort, from the boots on the ground at Ramstein, to the Airmen in Spangdahlem.

“The team back at home station was flawless. They were able to get everyone out the door in short order, the number of aircraft that we flushed out of Spangdahlem in minimum time is second to none, Epperson said, “and that’s due to all of our great Airmen in the Saber Nation.”