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Misawa Airmen continue Agile Combat Employment training

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Barry Zielinski, a cyber transportation supervisor with the 35th Communications Squadron, shows Capt. Joseph Holloway, a pilot with the 13th Fighter Squadron, and 1st Lt. Jordan Garcia, an assistant unit deployment manager with the 14th Fighter Squadron, how to set up a Hawkeye III antenna at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020. Zielinski showed the two officers how to set up the antenna as part of a practice capstone event for the Agile Combat Employment training for Misawa Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Barry Zielinski, a cyber transportation supervisor with the 35th Communications Squadron, shows Capt. Joseph Holloway, a pilot with the 13th Fighter Squadron, and 1st Lt. Jordan Garcia, an assistant unit deployment manager with the 14th Fighter Squadron, how to set up a Hawkeye III antenna at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020. Zielinski showed the two officers how to set up the antenna as part of a practice capstone event for the Agile Combat Employment training for Misawa Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman John Kuthmann, a patrolman with the 35th Security Forces Squadron, instructs other Airmen on how to perform security sweeps during an Agile Combat Employment practice capstone event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020. During the event, Airmen switched out from assisting with other tasks to learn how to properly and safely perform patrols. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman John Kuthmann, a patrolman with the 35th Security Forces Squadron, instructs other Airmen on how to perform security sweeps during an Agile Combat Employment practice capstone event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020. During the event, Airmen switched out from working their core duty tasks to learn how to properly and safely perform patrols. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Tyler Robinson, a power projection journeyman with the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron, explains the controls on an MEP-806A generator to 1st Lt. Jordan Garcia, an assistant unit deployment manager with the 14th Fighter Squadron, during an Agile Combat Employment practice capstone event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020. Under the ACE concept, whenever Airmen aren't working on their core task they will be able to assist subject matter experts in their duties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Tyler Robinson, a power projection journeyman with the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron, explains the controls on an MEP-806A generator to 1st Lt. Jordan Garcia, an assistant unit deployment manager with the 14th Fighter Squadron, during an Agile Combat Employment practice capstone event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020. Under the ACE concept, whenever Airmen aren't working on their core task they will be able to assist subject matter experts in their duties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

U.S. Air Force Airman Cameron Coughlin, a structures technician with the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron, holds a ladder for Senior Airman Kenneth Brown, an alarm monitor with the 35th Security Forces Squadron, as he connects the beams on a small shelter system tent during an Agile Combat Employment practice capstone event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020. The ACE concept requires units to be able to deploy small teams to austere locations. As such, Airmen are training so they can assist in completing tasks outside of their normal career functions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

U.S. Air Force Airman Cameron Coughlin, a structures technician with the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron, holds a ladder for Senior Airman Kenneth Brown, an alarm monitor with the 35th Security Forces Squadron, as he connects the beams on a small shelter system tent during an Agile Combat Employment practice capstone event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020. The ACE concept requires units to be able to deploy small teams to austere locations. Airmen are training so they can assist in completing tasks outside of their normal career functions to maximize their ability to support remote operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

A U.S. Airman pulls the tarp of a small shelter system tent over its frame during an Agile Combat Employment practice capstone event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020. The ACE concept requires units to deploy small teams, who will be able to build their own shelters, pack their own cargo for shipping, and generally conduct operations from any austere location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

A U.S. Airman pulls the tarp of a small shelter system tent over its frame during an Agile Combat Employment practice capstone event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020. The ACE concept requires units to deploy small teams, who will be able to build their own shelters, pack their own cargo for shipping, and generally conduct operations from any austere location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

A U.S. Airman connects a rope to the tarp of a small shelter system tent during an Agile Combat Employment practice capstone event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020. The ACE concept requires units to deploy small teams, who will be able to build their own shelters, pack their own cargo for shipping, and generally conduct operations from any austere location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

A U.S. Airman connects a rope to the tarp of a small shelter system tent during an Agile Combat Employment practice capstone event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020. The ACE concept requires units to deploy small teams, who will be able to build their own shelters, pack their own cargo for shipping, and generally conduct operations from any austere location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

U.S. Airmen from various unit of the 35th Fighter Wing work together to build a small shelter system tent during an Agile Combat Employment practice capstone event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020. The ACE concept requires units to deploy small teams to austere locations. As such, Airmen are training to be able to assist in completing tasks outside of their normal career functions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

U.S. Airmen from various units across the 35th Fighter Wing work together to build a small shelter system tent during an Agile Combat Employment practice capstone event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020. The ACE concept requires units to deploy small teams to austere locations. Airmen are training to be able to assist in completing tasks outside of their normal career functions to maximize their ability to support remote operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman John Kuthmann, a patrolman with the 35th Security Forces Squadron, performs a status check with other Airmen after a simulated attack during an Agile Combat Employment practice capstone event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020. During the event, Airmen switched out from assisting with other tasks to learn how to perform security patrols and defend their position. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman John Kuthmann, a patrolman with the 35th Security Forces Squadron, performs a status check with other Airmen after a simulated attack during an Agile Combat Employment practice capstone event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020. During the event, Airmen switched out from assisting with their core duty tasks to learn how to perform security patrols and defend their position. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “The only constant in life is change.” That’s true in how we learn, how we teach, and even how the military operates in the defense of the United States, its interests, and its allies and partners.

 

It is that thought of change that 24 U.S. Airmen assigned to various units across the 35th Fighter Wing came together to execute an Agile Combat Employment, or ACE, practice capstone event at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 13, 2020.

 

“Our world is changing,” said Master Sgt. Alexander Wieczorek, 35th Fighter Wing Inspector General Wing Plans and Programs manager. “The Air Force that I was raised for - the Air Expeditionary Force concept, where large force modules deployed forward at established air bases - that time is coming to an end, and we have to be predictive of the future.”

 

Under the ACE concept, units would deploy to austere locations with smaller teams of Airmen who are capable of establishing and sustaining base operations.

 

In an ever-changing world, Wieczorek said preparing for the future can be hard, but it is possible when considering what is at the core of the ACE concept - multi-capable Airmen, or MCAs.

 

“If we know we have people who do a lot of things okay, maybe not a perfectionist at everything but by making them broadly capable, they are going to make the overall mission effective,” he said.

 

During the practice capstone and at the previous training events earlier this year, Airmen of all ranks and career fields taught and learned from each other.

 

“We get a good basic knowledge every single time we come out and do training,” said Airman 1st Class Chris McCormick, a pavement and heavy equipment technician with the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron. “Everyone is getting substantially better and more comfortable around each other [with each training].”

 

According to Wieczorek, MCAs are not meant to be subject matter experts but rather capable assitants to the SMEs as they perform their jobs, allowing for smaller more efficient teams.

 

“If your core AFSC’s duties are done for that time, then you can rotate over in this lean team and be effective to help someone else do their job,” Wieczorek said.

 

Wieczorek understands this training may not seem useful to Airmen at their home station, beyond making Airmen more valuable assets for missions, but he looks at ACE training like his emergency planning for his family.

 

“I tell my daughter when we go to an air show, ‘If you get separated, we are going to go toward this place,’” he said. “Having a plan and knowing that if an emergency does arise, you know what you can do. You know what your capabilities are.”

 

Additionally, by having MCAs who are able to form teams to execute ACE missions, units increase their ability to deter aggression as smaller teams will be capable of deploying to various austere locations as opposed to the established locations typically found under the AEF concept.

 

“We become less of targets of opportunity by being able to be more nimble and more agile. That’s in the name,” Wieczorek said.

 

Though change is inevitable, Misawa Airmen are continuing to take up the challenge to be agile, capable, and ready for whatever comes their way.