Agile Reaper 23-1 wraps up successful ACE Exercise in Guam and Tinian
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam—Exercise Agile Reaper 23-1, an Agile Combat Employment exercise that took place on Guam and Tinian, came to a close with a constructive and positive conclusion in mid-March, 2023.
Airmen from the 673d Air Base Wing and 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, as well as other participating units from across the Air Force made up a collective and capable group in the 3rd Air Expeditionary Wing to execute AR 23-1.
The 3rd AEW achieved many successes throughout the exercise to include an Agile Combat Employment playbook that will be used to define future ACE operations, strengthened ACE and Multi-Capable Airmen expeditionary skills across the A-Staff directorates, and reinforced strategic knowledge.
“I’ve told all the wing commanders, the numbered Air Force commanders and PACAF that I expect them to take risk,” said Gen. Ken Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces commander. “I expect them to expand the ACE envelope, I expect them to get better and better. They’ve got to be able to meet the mission taskings, all the communication, all that’s required to be in the right place, at the right time, with your airpower. That’s why we have Raptors at Tinian, so that they can practice those skills.”
Agile Reaper is a strategic and important exercise that is meant to rehearse capabilities in increasing survivability while generating combat power.
While exercising ACE, the Tinian International Airport in the Northern Mariana Islands provided a spoke environment where airmen had to operate with only the supplies they had brought in, or could be provided by airlift resupply via a C-17 Globemaster III.
F-22 Raptor pilots assigned to the 525th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and currently deployed to Kadena Air Base, Japan, also had the opportunity to exercise operating outside of a military installation in an operationally limited environment while on Tinian.
In addition, communications airmen strengthened skills sustaining transmitting and connecting in a degraded environment, civil engineer airmen overcame issues that came with operating in a hot, humid environment instead of an Arctic one, and so on. Andersen Air Force Base provided a hub, where additional aircraft and intelligence and logistical support was provided.
AR 23-1 was designed with a focus on exercising ACE, rehearsing capabilities in an operationally relevant environment, providing air dominance, global mobility, and command and control, and ensuring that the 3rd AEW is ready and capable of operating in a contested, degraded, and operationally limited environment.
“It’s a crawl-walk-run as we ruthlessly prioritize validating the ACE framework,” said Col. Kevin “Jinx” Jamieson, commander, 3rd Air Expeditionary Wing. “All of my expectations were exceeded. I thought this was a huge success and win for the team, especially bringing the 3rd AEW construct together and proving that this high-performing team could take this from concept to practice in just a few short months. I’m excited to see what we’re capable of in the next iteration of Agile Reaper.”
Whether in the cold, bitter inclement weather in Alaska, or in the hot, humid environment in the Pacific, airmen stay agile, ready to deploy, maneuver, and project power.