AFCENT ACE capabilities tested at wrap-up event > US Central Command > News Article View
Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) executed Operation Agile Spartan III, its third Agile Combat Employment Key Event, across the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, Aug. 30 through Sept. 16.
Throughout the engagement, units from the 332d, 378th, 379th, and 386th Air Expeditionary Wings executed rapid movements of troops and equipment to and from locations scattered throughout the area. These actions reflect the ACE paradigm of proactively and reactively executing an operational maneuver plan within threat timeframes to increase survivability while simultaneously generating combat power. Overall, this helps complicate adversarial targeting.
“Although we frequently operate from various airfields around the world, this was the first time we had operated from a dispersed location like this,” said Lt. Col. Erin Brilla, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing/A5X Plans and Programs Director. “From harsh weather conditions, to a new environment, to setting up a base with lighter support than we typically rely on, Operation Agile Spartan III has given us the opportunity to practice new building command and control and a completely different supply chain, enhancing our ability to operate anytime, anywhere.
AFCENT’s ACE events over the past year, including those such as Agile Phoenix, Agile Sidra and Agile Tuskegee, have provided the foundation for the training of cornerstone participating units. OAS III is where they had the opportunity to test what they learned.
“The objective of the Agile Combat Employment wrap-up event was to determine where we have progressed over the past six months and to determine where we need to focus our attention over the next six months,” said the Major Chris Bodtke, Head of AFCENT/A3. forces and main planner of OAS III. “Agile Spartan III has been an incredible opportunity to build relationships with regional partners and practice distributed operations.”
Additionally, where previous exercises were limited to singular units or wings, OAS III created a scenario in which combat operations were tested on multiple fronts and involving multiple cells. Thus, AFCENT had the opportunity to observe how the organization presents combat air power from a heavily degraded position.
AFCENT leaders had the opportunity not only to observe but also to participate in the exercise. Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, Combined Forces Air Component Commander, flew an F-16 Fighting Falcon alongside AFCENT Airmen and coalition partners in support of Operation Inherent Resolve on 7 September within the framework of the OAS III.
“AFCENT airmen are gaining combat experience every day. You can’t put a price tag on that kind of preparation,” Grynkewich said. “The lessons we learn today – and every day – in this organization directly correlate to more effective operations tomorrow as we learn to leverage our capabilities as effectively and efficiently as possible. Additionally, as Airmen move through the AFCENT and gain these experiences, the lethality and fighting spirit of the Air Force as a whole is enhanced, which also benefits other commands. fighters around the world.
Building on lessons learned from OAS III, AFCENT will continue to test its combat capabilities and operate alongside partners to support a secure and stable environment in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.