Eielson Airmen, F-35s begin ACE training at MCAS Iwakuni

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Zade Vadnais
  • 354th Fighter Wing

Eighteen U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 354th Air Expeditionary Wing out of Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, began training on Agile Combat Employment tactics, techniques and procedures at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, June 6.

While here, the 354th AEW will integrate with U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning IIs assigned to III Marine Expeditionary Force to strengthen partnerships and enhance joint capabilities, maintain readiness to fulfill U.S. obligations under the mutual security treaty to defend Japan, and ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.

ACE is a scheme of maneuver to increase survivability and continue to generate combat power despite enemy attacks on forward airfields. These tactics complicate enemy targeting and enhance flexibility for friendly forces.

ACE training provides opportunities for Airmen at all levels to learn and validate new ways to deploy and maneuver assets during a crisis or conflict.

“At home station all of the equipment, infrastructure, and personnel we need to accomplish the mission are already in place,” explained U.S. Air Force Col. David Berkland, 354th AEW commander. “Each time we practice quickly transitioning from normal operations at home station to operating out of less familiar locations, we’re better equipped to operate in dynamic environments and utilize innovative efforts like multi-capable Airmen, flexible logistics and decentralized command and control.”

Training on different elements of ACE enables U.S. forces in the Indo-Pacific to operate from locations with varying levels of capacity and support, ensuring Airmen are postured to respond across the spectrum of military operations.