CHEONGJU AIR BASE, Republic of Korea –
The 35th Fighter Generation Squadron participated in a U.S.-ROK Buddy Squadron event, July 24-28.
While pilots from the 35th Fighter Squadron, assigned to Kunsan AB, planned, operated, flew and debriefed with their 151st FS ROK Air Force counterparts, the 35th FGS focused their attention on incorporating agile combat employment principles into their operations.
ACE, which can look different for every unit and in every theater, was originally designed as the U.S. Air Force’s scheme of maneuver for increasing survivability while generating combat air power. During this Buddy Squadron training event, ACE operations for the 35th FGS meant reducing and refining maintenance operations down to a small contingent, as they would operate at a forward deployed location.
“Rather than bringing a large maintenance footprint out to Cheongju AB we took a small maintenance package focused on launch, recovery and servicing operations only… treating Cheongju like a ‘spoke location’ to the main ‘Hub’ operation at Osan,” said Col. Bradley Altman, 8th Maintenance Group commander. “Ultimately, reducing our logistical footprint while keeping the jets flying confirms our ability to generate air power in any environment and that is what ACE is all about.”
The 35th FGS’ ACE operations not only delivered mission capable F-16 Fighting Falcons for the traditional exchange between U.S. and ROK air force units, but on a larger scale reinforced how critical it is for the Wolf Pack to be able to project capabilities from anywhere on the Korean peninsula.
“The Air Force has acknowledged that in future conflicts the fight will not be at home station, so it's important to get troops into the mindset that they will have to leave an established base of operation and hit the ground running in a more austere location to prepare sorties and produce airpower,” said Tech. Sgt. Nathaniel Fisher, 35th FGS flightline expediter.
Practical implementation of ACE methods during routine operations is just one way Wolf Pack maintainers stay sharp and always ready, so that the 8th Fighter Wing can ‘Take the fight north!’ if ever called to do so.