Air Combat Command wraps up AGILE FLAG 24-1

  • Published
  • By Lt. Michael D. Caggiano Jr.
  • Air Combat Command Public Affairs

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- The 4th Fighter Wing from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, completed its Air Force Force Generation, or AFFORGEN, certification event Feb. 3, closing out AGILE FLAG 24-1, Air Combat Command’s first iteration of this exercise for 2024.  

AGILE FLAG is an Agile Combat Employment exercise designed to validate a wing’s ability to deploy, employ and sustain forces, and execute priority Mission Essential Tasks in a degraded and operationally limited environment within the appropriate AFFORGEN cycle. 

Fifteenth Air Force served as the certifier for the exercise, evaluating the METs closely as the 4th FW conducted its operations. 

“Agile Flag is our opportunity as an Air Force to certify our fighter wings’ capability to conduct warfare in a complex combat environment,” said Maj. Gen. David Lyons, commander, Fifteenth Air Force.  “These wings must be ready to provide command and control, and to generate air superiority and attack missions, while also being able to quickly fight from forward bases using Agile Combat Employment tactics. 

“This is no small task for our wings, and this exercise is their capstone certification event, validating their capabilities to deliver lethal combat power while surviving in a highly contested environment.” 

AGILE FLAG also gives Airmen in various Air Force Specialty Codes an opportunity to operate and practice in an environment that is more complex than their normal operations tempo.

“We have learned through Agile Flag that many of the daily ‘in-garrison’ tasks of support agencies are entirely different than what is expected of them in a combat situation,” said Lt. Col. Benjamin Orsua, AGILE FLAG exercise director. “Personnel specialists, logisticians, communications and Judge Advocates are just a few of the less obvious directorates that have critical combat functions that are not readily practiced at home-station.

“AGILE FLAG creates a combat-representative scenario that exposes support agencies to the critical tasks necessary to support the entire Wing’s survival in combat,” Orsua said.

ACE operations practiced during AGILE FLAG require strong communication capabilities to create the command and control necessary to complete the mission. During AGILE FLAG 24-1, the 52nd Combat Communications Squadron from Robins AFB and the 242nd Combat Communication Squadron from the Washington Air National Guard, provided expeditionary communication capabilities to the Expeditionary Air Base Total Force Element.

“Combat Communications acts as a Set-the-Theater force, enabling immediate command and control for XABs during Agile Flag exercises,” said Senior Master Sgt. David Puzycki, AGILE FLAG exercise communications planner.  “The 52nd Combat Communications Squadron provided the XAB Commander and A6 [directorate of communications] with instant warfighter capability while the 242nd Combat Communications Squadron provided the Red and White teams the ability to control and mold the exercise.”

Total force partners from the Montana and Nevada Air National Guard provided airlift for the operations alongside the 621st Contingency Response Wing, demonstrating the U.S. Air Force’s capability to integrate with multiple units across differing mission sets and major commands. 

AGILE FLAG continues to play a critical role in ACC’s transformation as the command evolves to provide relevant, combat-ready forces through the AFFORGEN cycle.