Osan trains multi-capable Airmen under ACE

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Dwane R. Young
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from Osan Air Base were deployed to Gwangju during a recent training event to test their ability to rapidly deploy assets on the Korean peninsula. Airmen performing outside of their career fields in an unfamiliar environment is the U.S. Air Force’s Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concept in action.

Tech. Sgt. Christopher Dial, a 51st Security Forces Squadron Airman, assisted crew chiefs as they marshalled an F-16 Fighting Falcon into its parking spot at Gwangju Air Base, Aug. 16, 2022. Earlier in the week, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters received a crash course in aircraft refueling from a fuels specialist.

Multi-capable Airmen refers to the ACE concept of training Airmen to do basic tasks outside of their usual specialty in order to be more well-rounded.

“The more Airmen that we train to be mulit-capable, the less people we have to take with us when we deploy,” said Maj. Joseph Basala, 36th Fighter Squadron pilot. “This is vital for our flexibility and allows us to operate from anywhere.”

ACE, according to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., aims to make the U.S. Pacific Air Forces “light, lean and agile.”

To accomplish this, Airmen have taken on training and additional roles within their squadrons to practice maintaining their mission requirements and operations tempo with minimal manning if necessary.

“Maintenance is leading the way in training our Airmen to be multi-capable,” said Master Sgt. Mathew Gibbs, 25th Fighter Generation Squadron production superintendent. “We are preparing them to be able to move anywhere, set up operations and immediately start launching jets.”
The ultimate goal of ACE is to remove the Air Force’s dependency on main operation bases and instead to project air power from smaller dispersed forward operating locations.

“ACE takes into account that in a future fight, our Airmen might operate in contested and degraded environments,” said Basala. “That is why we are here training at Gwangju. Preparing them to survive, adapt and thrive in any theater and in all conditions.”