552 ACW supports Northern Edge 23-2

  • Published
  • By Kimberly Woodruff

Members of the 960th Airborne Air Control Squadron, 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base supported Northern Edge 23-2 at Kadena Air Base, Japan during the period of June 26 through July 22.

NE 23-2 is a first of its kind to test command and control capabilities throughout the Indo-Pacific for a joint multinational exercise. The exercise provided the 552 ACW an opportunity to sharpen their skills; practice tactics, techniques, procedures, and to improve command, control and communication relationships and joint, multinational interoperability while developing cooperative plans and programs.

During NE 23-2, Kadena served as the hub, deploying Agile Combat Employment forces to smaller centers around the Indo-Pacific region, called spokes, to generate combat power and increase survivability by distributing assets over a wide area to accomplish various missions and complicate adversaries’ targeting cycles.

Maintainers and command and control teams operated from various spokes to support and facilitate aircraft movement allowing for realistic training, evaluate new technologies, tactics and procedures, ensuring the U.S. remains agile and able to adapt.

“This was an excellent opportunity to develop, test and learn how to operate in different major commands than we typically do while working with multinational agencies,” said Maj. Clifford Selman, with the 960th AACS. “The exercise presented challenges, but it was valuable training.”

The 960th AACS integrated with the 961st AACS and many other units to practice, project and exercise ACE capabilities, ensuring long-lasting peace and stability of Japan and the Indo-Pacific region.  

Working alongside the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force partners to enhance agility and coordination allows the U.S. and its allies to provide rapid assistance should a crisis occur in the Indo-Pacific.

 “It has been a significant length of time since the 552nd ACW has deployed to the Indo-Pacific,” said Col. Kenneth Voigt, Jr., commander of the 552nd ACW. “This training greatly benefits our wing with our Airmen learning to be proficient at generation, readiness and posturing our wing for the battle management command and control evolution. Joint interoperability training events such as NE 23-2 are key to strengthening partnerships with our allies.”

Japan and France also participated in NE 23-2 alongside various fighters and airlift aircraft  supporting agile logistic objectives.

Northern Edge 23-2 is a critical component of the U.S. military’s effort to enhance readiness and strengthen partnerships. The U.S. remains steadfast in its commitment to maintaining a strong and credible presence in the Indo-Pacific, ensuring security and stability throughout the region.