An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Sept. 15, 2022

PACAF Completes ACE Innovation Competition

By Tech. Sgt. Nick Wilson U.S. Air Force

HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii In an effort to continue to strengthen rapid deployment capabilities, Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) recently held an Agile Combat Employment (ACE) innovation competition to feature funded projects invented and designed by Airmen across the command.

In the first round, PACAF internally funded five out of 60 projects based upon ACE advancement. The selected projects ranged from secure communications equipment to corrosion control, some even going so far as to speed up refueling times on the flightline.

In the second round, PACAF funded three additional projects using Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force Momentum funds. The selected projects dramatically reduced cargo loading times and enabled solar-powered water filtration. These additional funds brought the total investment to more than two million dollars in ACE improvements.

“We were very pleased with the funding support from here at the command to higher headquarters level,” said Maj. Raymond Hill, PACAF Innovation Lead. “Airmen across PACAF are leading the way and innovating the ACE line of effort.”

ACE was developed by PACAF and is now an Air Force-wide initiative. As near peer nations increase their technological capabilities, older U.S. Air Force equipment and technology becomes more vulnerable and obsolete.

“It's very rewarding to see the efforts of our team in developing this solution,” said Master Sgt. Jason Yunker, fuels operations section chief of the 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Kadena Air Base. “This encourages and fosters a climate where Airmen are comfortable speaking up and saying they have a good idea.”

Yunker’s team presented an idea that speeds up hot pit refueling times for the KC-135 Stratotanker. According to Yunker, the preexisting process at Kadena had fuel trucks driving up to a running KC-135 and refueling the transfer tanks, which can hold up to 200,000 pounds of fuel. Based upon their plan, with a creative system of connectors, nozzles and a fuel hose, they can now tie in directly to the hydrant fueling system, allowing the aircraft to taxi in and out without having to move refueling equipment.

The new system cuts about 15 minutes from the refueling process and improves safety, giving the aircraft an egress option in case of emergency. Each kit costs approximately $35,000 and the team anticipates going into the testing phase about two months after the equipment is purchased.

ACE is a key operating concept for how the U.S. Air Force will fight in a modern, contested environment. Through programs like the ACE innovation competition, PACAF is leveraging technological improvements from empowered Airmen so they are ready to execute missions quickly and in unpredictable ways in the future.


Like Us
Follow Us



Strength of the Combined Force: Australian, Filipino, U.S. Forces Coming Together to Demonstrate Readiness for Crisis and Contingency Response
U.S. Marines with Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, Australian Army Soldiers, and Philippine Marines conduct a combined assault during Exercise Alon at Palawan, Philippines, Aug. 22, 2023.  Exercise Alon, part of Indo-Pacific Endeavor 2023, is a bilateral amphibious training activity between the Australian Defence Force and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, supported by MRF-D.  The exercise focused on enhancing interoperability and readiness to respond to shared security challenges. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Maj. Matthew Wolf)
Sept. 29, 2023 - Marines and Sailors of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D) joined members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Australian Defence Force (ADF) for Exercise Alon, part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2023...

U.S. Special Operations Command Korea selected for Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Sept. 29, 2023 - Today the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) President, Yoon Suk Yeol, awarded U.S. Special Operations Command Korea (SOCKOR) with the Presidential Unit Citation at the 75th Anniversary ceremony of the ROK Armed Forces Day at Seoul...

20 Military Intelligence Chiefs Meet for 16th Annual IPICC
Courtesy photo
Sept. 28, 2023 - The 16th annual Indo-Pacific Intelligence Chiefs Conference (IPICC) 2023 kicked off, Sept. 10, bringing together directors of military intelligence from 20 countries to Vancouver, Canada to discuss regional issues and shared...

Global Engagement Center Special Report: How the People’s Republic of China Seeks to Reshape the Global Information Environment
Sept. 28, 2023 - Every country should have the ability to tell its story to the world. However, a nation’s narrative should be based on facts and rise and fall on its own merits. The PRC employs a variety of deceptive and coercive methods as...

U.S.-Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Statement on Reaffirming U.S.-Pacific Partnership
Sept. 28, 2023 - We—the governments of Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa,...