HomeNewsArticle Display

ACC Agile Flag experiment paves way for lead wings

AGILE FLAG LOGO

U.S. Air Force graphic depicts imagery captured during Agile Flag 21-1 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Oct. 28, 2020. During Agile Flag 21-1, the 366th Fighter Wing from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, tested its ability to deploy as a lead Air Expeditionary Wing with a wing-level air staff. The unit employed mission generation, command and control, and base operating support elements from its main operating base at Tyndall AFB while supporting a forward operating base at Hurlburt Field, Florida, and a contingency location at Eglin AFB, Florida. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Senior Airman Andrew Kobialka)

F-15 Eagles taxing

U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, taxi down the runway after arriving at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Oct. 24, 2020. The fighter jets are participating in Agile Flag 21-1, which is an experimental exercise that tests the a new lead wing command design for deployed environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Andrew Kobialka)

men work on a satellite dish

U.S. Airmen with the 52nd Combat Communication Squadron configure a satellite in preparation for AGILE FLAG 21-1 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Oct. 15, 2020. Air Combat Command’s AGILE FLAG 21-1 experiment will test the 366th Fighter Wing’s (Mountain Home AFB, Idaho) ability to deploy into theater as a lead Air Expeditionary Wing with a wing-level air staff 21-29 Oct, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Kayla Fitzgerald)

Tent city at Tyndall Air Force Base

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 366th Fighter Wing set up a mobile operating base (MOB) during Agile Flag 21-1 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Oct. 22, 2020. Agile Flag 21-1 is one of the first times the Air Force has allowed a Wing to drop in a location and take command and control of the airspace, which allows the Air Force to be better capable of agile force deployments across the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Andrew Kobialka)

A C-130J sits on a runway.

A C-130J Super Hercules prepares to takeoff during Agile Flag 21-1 at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, Oct. 26, 2020. The C-130 aircrew transported the 366th FW maintenance crew while simulating the transportation of the munitions jammer in order to capably arm the F-15E Strike Eagle in an austere environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aaron Irvin)

Airmen unload a fire bottle out the back of a C-130J Super Hercules.

Airmen from the 366th Fighter Wing out of Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, offload a fire bottle at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, Oct. 26, 2020. Two C-130J Super Hercules from the 19th Airlift Wing supported the movement of the Integrated Combat Turn team from one base to another. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aaron Irvin)

Air operations center workers

U.S. Air Force Maj. Frederick Diederich, 601st Air Operations Center (AOC) Combat Plans Division (CPD) planner, and Royal Canadian Air Force Maj. Kevin Foster, 601st AOC CPD planner, monitor air operations during Agile Flag 21-1 in the AOC’s situation room at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Oct. 26, 2020. Agile Flag 21-1 experiment is testing the 366th Fighter Wing’s, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, ability to deploy into theater as a Lead Air Expeditionary Wing with a wing-level air staff 21-29 Oct, 2020. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Regina Young)

Airmen pulling fueling hose

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Cody Washek, a forward area refueling point member assigned to the 1st Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron, transports a fuel hose following a FARP operation with an F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 389th Fighter Squadron during Agile Flag 21-1 at Hurlburt Field, Florida, Oct. 27, 2020. FARP Airmen perform covert nighttime refueling operations in deployed locations where fueling points are not accessible or when air-to-air refueling is not possible, enabling airpower to conduct operations any time, any place. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joseph Pick)

F-15 Strike eagle refueling

An Airman assigned to Air Combat Command conducts inspections on an F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 389th Fighter Squadron during Agile Flag 21-1 at Hurlburt Field, Florida, Oct. 27, 2020. Agile Flag, hosted by Air Combat Command, employs mission generation, command and control and base-operating support elements from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, to test the 366th Fighter Wing’s ability to deploy into theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joseph Pick)

Airmen off loading munitions
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 10 of 11

Airmen assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command and Air Combat Command offload a cart of GBU-38 joint direct attack munitions from an MC-130J Commando II assigned to the 9th Special Operations Squadron during Agile Flag 21-1 at Hurlburt Field, Florida, Oct. 27, 2020. Airmen assigned to AFSOC and ACC conducted a forward area refueling point operation and rearmed GBU-38s to two F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 389th Fighter Squadron, displaying the forces ability to be adaptable, survivable, and combat-ready for combatant commanders in the future. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joseph Pick)

Airmen Loading C-130
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 11 of 11

U.S. Air Force loadmaster from the 61st Airlift Squadron directs Airmen on how to load the C-130J Super Hercules at Hurlburt Field, Florida, Oct. 26, 2020. The 61st AS participated in the transportation of 366th Fighter Wing Airmen to a training contingency location so they could conduct integrated combat turns with F-15E Strike Eagles as part of Agile Flag 21-1. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Andrew Kobialka)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --

Agile Flag 21-1 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, came to a close, Oct. 29, 2020, as the first of its’ kind event to test the effectiveness of “Lead Wings.”

The lead wing for this exercise was the 366th Fighter Wing from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, and 250 Airmen from six units from across the Air Force, who participated to better understand the diverse requirements that will go into certifying the lead-wing concept for Air Combat Command.

“Each unit at Agile Flag 21-1 — a fighter wing, combat communication unit, tactical airlift, and more — came together with different capabilities into one comprehensive and well-trained force package,” said Col. Rick Goodman, 366th FW commander. “Through this experiment, participating units are helping us refine agile combat employment and ensure that we bring what’s required to execute our National Defense Strategy.”

Using this experiment as a baseline, ACC will work toward a flag-level exercise that will be designed to certify a lead wing’s ability to generate and provide command and control as well as support and defend combat forces.

“Agile Flag 21-1 has shown that not only is dynamic force employment critical, it is possible,” said Maj. Gen. Chad Franks, 15th Air Force commander. “Through this experiment, we have gained a better understanding of how we can provide combat air power and a wide range of other capabilities to our combatant commanders while remaining agile and lethal.”

According to Goodman, the overall goal of creating such an exercise is to provide joint force commanders an agile and lethal team that can be employed around the world as soon as they are required; a unified team that has trained together, so that when their boots hit the ground they are ready to execute the mission.

“Agile Flag 21-1 has been a great opportunity to impact how our Air Force thinks about providing combat airpower,” Goodman said. “This experiment has provided insights into how agile combat employment combined with lead wing concepts can provide agility and lethality to joint force commanders across the globe.”

Refining that combat employment will now fall into the hands of ACC, 15th Air Force, and the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center.

The Air Force, and specifically ACC, needs to refine and clearly articulate expectations for the role of a lead wing as an instrument of Air Power in support of strategic national objectives, said Lt. Col. Andrew Frasch, ACC Operations, dynamic force employment chief.

“Anytime we have the opportunity to use a dedicated venue to address and experiment with both force presentation and agile combat employment concepts and tactics, techniques, and procedure development, it’s a victory for our Air Force,” Frasch said. “We’ll take what we learned, from things that went well, and those that didn’t, and build on those for the next iteration in the spring. The more we do this, the faster the progress will come.”