Incirlik Airmen practice ACE during exercise

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Andrea Salazar
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Airmen from the 39th Air Base Wing conducted an Agile Combat Employment exercise here Aug. 26-28. 

The exercise focused on validating new ways to deploy and maneuver assets during potential short or no-notice crises or conflict while operating from locations with varying levels of capacity and support.

“With increasing adversary capability, USAFE-AFAFRICA Airmen must be postured and prepared to not only fight on a moment’s notice but to remain unpredictable at the tactical level,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, USAFE-AFAFRICA commander. “Operationalizing ACE allows us, along with our allies and partners, to become more agile in our execution, more strategic in our deterrence, and more resilient in our capability. Agility, deterrence and resiliency are the essential keys to our force being able to defend and operate in a contested environment.”

Incirlik Air Base, like other U.S. Forces in Europe, continues to exercise ways to improve passive and active defense capabilities. This posture ensures contingency forces have the capabilities and flexibility to effectively conduct their mission while also protecting assets and personnel.

“Part of the training was teaching non-security forces augmentees to go out into an expeditionary field, set and secure an aircraft to the best of their ability,” said Staff Sgt. William Volk, 39th Security Forces Squadron monitoring facility operator. “Some of the training consisted of basic weapon tactics, how to shoot, move and communicate as a team and how to provide 360 degrees defense.” 

The concepts of ACE fits directly into Incirlik’s mission of projecting global power through strategic deterrence, agile combat support, and enduring partnerships to defend U.S. interests and our allies along NATO’s southern flank.

“I've been an air traffic controller now for five years, and I've never had an experience like this,” said Staff Sgt. Liam Smith, 39th Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller. “I thought it was beneficial because it allows continuity of operations in a deployed environment so that nothing has to stop.”

In the future, USAFE will continue to include the ACE concept from a variety of locations to ensure the air component can maintain command and control of forces and retain the initiative in a contested environment.