Yokota hosts first 5th Air Force Agile Combat Employment conference
By Staff Sgt. Kyle Johnson, 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 17, 2020
Yokota Air Base, Japan --
Yokota hosted the first of many multi-discipline conferences, Nov. 9 and 10, 2020, which included action officers from agencies across the 5th Air Force Wings and opened new doors toward advancing the Air Force’s Agile Combat Employment initiative.
ACE is a new approach to wartime readiness across the Air Force as directed by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
ACE calls for Air Force units to be ready to move smaller teams more quickly in response to today’s unique warfighting environment. This allows for a faster and more resilient response to contingencies with a smaller footprint.
“We have to have innovation,” said General Kenneth Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces commander. “Senior leadership needs you to come up with new ways of doing things.”
The purpose of the conference is to get all of the Wings in Japan on the same page regarding ACE, share best practices, and align future development. This includes establishing a unified training plan with exercises geared toward building ACE readiness among the three Wings.
“Coordinating and synchronizing our efforts between Yokota, Kadena, Misawa, and 5th Air Force staff is absolutely crucial to achieving PACAF’s direction for ACE,” said Lt. Col. Richard Bogusky, 374th Airlift Wing director of staff. “This is a great first step toward building an inter-wing framework to move the ball forward; in the future we will need to integrate our bilateral partners too.”
That coordination allows the force as a whole to be more effective in the area of responsibility. The Rumrunner exercise in January where more than 60 aircraft and 300 personnel from the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Army and Marine Corps gathered at Kadena Air Base to strengthen joint interoperability, was built around the ACE concept.
Additional conferences are planned in early 2021 to continue building the ACE concepts and readiness plans. It’s not yet clear what an ACE-effective Air Force will look like – but it is clear that ACE will be vital to a free and open Indo-Pacific.