Spangdahlem Air Base validates rapid mobility and munitions resupply alongside joint partners for ACE exercise

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Anthony Plyler
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Airmen assigned to the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base deployed to Leeuwarden Air Base, Netherlands, last month to execute a short-notice Agile Combat Employment exercise.

During the mission, the 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron’s Traffic Management Office, Outbound Cargo Operations exercised the capability of moving live munitions to austere operating locations.

Moving four intermodel containers on two tractor trailers containing 22 tons of cargo, the 52nd LRS demonstrated a critical logistics capability and marked a first for a U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa during an ACE exercise.

“Everyone is following our lead,” said Master Sgt. Mark Majak 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron traffic management superintendent. “We are setting the standard as we are the first to be this far along in executing our ACE Initial Operating Capabilities.”

The purpose of the movement was to showcase the rapid deployment and lethality the wing has and to strengthen and uphold peace and cooperation with NATO allies. 

To make the movement a reality, the wing worked with soldiers from the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, who helped to transport the cargo, as well as personnel from both Germany and the Netherlands.

“Having the Army involved allowed the home station to continue the mission and enabled us as a wing to continue to provide complete support without jeopardizing the mission at home,” said Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Kissee, 52nd LRS Outbound Cargo noncommissioned officer in charge.  “This never would’ve been possible if it wasn’t for all the parties working together in unison to reach the same goal. If something was off and we needed a quick resolution, we came together and got it done.”

The ACE concept envisions the use of agile operations in order to generate resilient airpower from various locations with the support of multi-capable Airmen.

“Agile Combat Employment is vital to the execution of the National Defense Strategy,” said Capt. Ryan Thomas, 52nd LRS assistant director of operations. “The 52nd FW can mobilize critical assets and personnel in an expeditious manner to a variety of austere operating locations within Europe while strengthening our defense against adversaries.”

Spangdahlem Air Base announced ACE Initial Operating Capability on April 23, 2021, six months ahead of schedule, making the 52nd FW the first USAFE wing to hold this capability.