Armed Forces News

A 41st Rescue Squadron Special Mission Aviator inspects an M2 machine gun during a fini-flight, May 14, 2019, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The fini-flight is a long-standing Air Force tradition that occurs when a pilot departs from the base. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eugene Oliver)

Airmen would be better trained and equipped to react to threats, under the Air Force’s new Agile Combat Employment (ACE) doctrine.

Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the service’s chief of staff, signed off on ACE Dec. 9, effectively creating the ACE framework. With it, airmen will receive guidelines enabling them to act with flexibility and create complicated dilemmas for adversaries.

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“Future conflict will never look like wars of the past, and that is why we have to get after building multi-capable, strategically minded airmen today, so they can compete, deter and win tomorrow,” said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass.

The doctrine makes airmen “capable of accomplishing tasks outside of their core Air Force specialty, to provide combat support and combat service support to ACE elements,” Bass said.

The ACE takes into account the fact that adversaries today have the ability to threaten main operating bases in ways heretofore unavailable to them. They additionally have access to small unmanned vehicles, as well as cruise, ballistic and hypersonic missiles in their arsenals. Meanwhile, the Air Force now must do its job while operating from fewer overseas locations.

“Over the last year, we have reaped several benefits by taking this same doctrine development approach with the Air Force’s role in Joint All-Domain Operations,” said Lt. Col. Richard Major, director of Air Force doctrine development. “I expect we will see the same for ACE as our airmen use the doctrine note as a point of reference to help build new best practices.”

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