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AFCENT strengthens capabilities, demonstrates regional commitment through ACE capstone event

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jessica Tait
  • Air Forces Central Public Affairs

Ninth Air Force (U.S. Air Forces Central) and coalition partners conducted its most comprehensive joint and multinational Agile Combat Employment-focused operation to date at an expeditionary location and various established installations across U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility, Dec. 17-22, 2021.

The ACE capstone event leveraged Airmen and assets in the region to enhance theater airpower competencies, validating operational capabilities, command and control, logistics and sustainment, while simultaneously strengthening regional partnerships.

“AFCENT’s operations continue to evolve as our command remains focused on 21st-century threats within the CENTCOM area of responsibility,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Greg Guillot, commander, 9th AF (AFCENT). “Increasingly, our presence is shaped by how we effectively deploy, employ and redeploy personnel, equipment and aircraft throughout the theater, integrate as a joint and coalition force, and strengthen relationships with host nation partners. This latest ACE capstone event successfully brought all of those elements together and serves as a demonstration of our capabilities and commitment to the region.”

While the command is continually refining its approach to ACE, this latest capstone effort built on lessons learned from across the U.S. Air Force and within the command, and was remarkable in the number of joint, coalition and partner nations involved across the AOR, according to U.S. Air Force Maj. Miles Blocker, who served as lead planner for the operation.

Throughout, Airmen strengthened a variety of skills, to include: employing agile airlift in the mobilization and deployment to various locations, conducting hot-pit refueling and crew-swap operations, establishing dynamic command and control, executing combat search and rescue operations, and integrating partner nations into ground and flying operations.