(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- To test what is likely one of the most crucial capabilities in the event of a conflict with China, the U.S. Air Force has stationed nearly 20 F-35A Lighting II stealth fighter jets in the Indo-Pacific.
To test and train on Agile Combat Employment (ACE), 18 F-35A Lightning IIs from the 354th Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) have gone to Japan.
The ACE maneuver is designed to maximize survivability and keep producing combat power. These strategies impede enemy targeting and increase friendly forces’ adaptability, according to the 354th Fighter Wing.
To participate in the battle successfully in the case of a confrontation with China, the Air Force would need to distribute its aircraft forward rapidly.
The F-35A stealth fighter jets will collaborate with the U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs, the fifth-generation aircraft’s short takeoff, vertical landing (STOVL) variants, while in Japan.
Colonel David Berkland, the commanding officer of the 354th Air Expeditionary Wing of the U.S. Air Force, said that we have everything we need, including the facilities and staff, to complete the objective. He said that each time we practice swiftly transitioning from routine operations at home station to operating out of less familiar locations, we’re better equipped to operate in dynamic environments and utilize innovative efforts like multi-capable Airmen, flexible logistics, and decentralized command and control.
A unit must quickly organize and distribute its aircraft within a predetermined territory for ACE to be effective.
Although the pilots should be aware of their intended route in case of combat, ACE needs to have an element of surprise to be most effective. To make up for any intelligence leaks that would reveal locations to an enemy, there must be a large number of potential staging stations. This would also help to make life more difficult for adversaries.
Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall III and Air Force Chief of Staff General Charles Q. Brown notably emphasized ACE and how the Air Force is trying to improve that capability.
He said that while efforts are being made to identify the best cost-effective combination of hardening, active defense, deception, and dispersion activities, this budget maintains money for Agile Combat Employment (ACE) in Indo-Pacific and European regions.
The success of robust forward basing is a prerequisite for all of our tactical airpower investments.