MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --
Team Misawa Airmen are actively operationalizing Agile Combat Employment (ACE) by conducting regularly reoccurring weeklong Multi-Capable Airmen (MCA) training at Misawa Air Base, Japan. During the Aug. 30 - Sept. 3, 2021 MCA course, 33 more Airmen from Misawa AB were trained.
In August of 2020, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. challenged Airmen across the globe to accelerate change.
“The Airmen at Misawa Air Base are leading the charge to accelerate change in the Indo-Pacific region by operationalizing ACE and MCA training,” said Col. Jesse J. Friedel, 35th Fighter Wing commander. “We are training more MCA and putting them to the test during ACE exercise scenarios to improve our defensive and offensive capabilities, to ensure our competitive advantage, and to protect our assets and personnel in the future.”
MCA training is designed to empower Airmen to accelerate change by expanding the scope of tasks Airmen can complete in support of ACE during expeditionary and wartime operations.
“The goal of Misawa Air Base’s five-day MCA training is to train Airmen on tasks outside his or her primary job,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jeremy R. Snowden, 35th Fighter Wing ACE director. “MCA will be teamed together to train, exercise and deploy in order to recover, refuel, reload, and launch combat airpower and support joint affairs with a small, agile footprint.”
As stated in the Fiscal Year 2022 Department of the Air Force Posture Statement, ACE is the ability to quickly disperse and cluster forces to a cooperative security location and conduct operations across all domains with minimal disruption, while maintaining operational flexibility.
“Learning about other career fields and developing new skills while learning about the ACE concept was the biggest benefit gained from the training to me,” said Airman 1st Class Brandon Grasso, 14th Maintenance Squadron engines specialist. “It gave me a chance to take some of the skills I learned and share them back at my shop with fellow Airmen.”
In order to be agile and lean, MCA are trained on multiple expeditionary tasks.
“MCA represents a shift from traditional, large force packages of highly specialized Airmen who train to perform a limited scope of tasks,” said Snowden. “This training enables them to accomplish additional tasks while supporting ACE operations in an austere and expeditionary environment.”
The ACE capability is a valuable addition to U.S. security obligations and military focus in the Indo-Pacific region. The ACE concept was fundamentally designed and continues to evolve to maintain a competitive advantage in a fiscally constrained environment. This concept and the exercises and deployments conducted in support of its success underscore U.S. commitment to the Indo-Pacific region.