505th TTG provides C2 expertise to 23rd WG‘s Ready Tiger exercise

  • Published
  • By Deb Henley
  • 505th Test and Training Group

The 505th Test and Training Group, Hurlburt Field, Florida, provided critical command and control expertise during the 23rd Wing’s execution of their Lead Wing exercise, Ready Tiger 22-01 at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Feb. 28 to March 4.

The 23rd WG conducted RT 22-01, an Agile Combat Employment LW exercise, in preparation for their upcoming, certification- exercise Agile Flag slated for later this summer. 

In November 2021, the 705th Training Squadron team provided LW C2 academics to the 23rd WG A-Staff which established base-line procedures for interacting with operational C2.  During RT 22-01, the 505th’s team evolved these procedures by providing a small scale Air Component replication for the 23rd WG.

 “The goal of providing replication, in place of standard white-cell injects, was to give the Lead Wing the realism of having to communicate and coordinate directly with entities at the AOC [Air Operations Center] and AFFOR [Air Force Forces] staff,” said David Hetzler, 705th TRS, ACE LW C2 subject matter expert, Hurlburt Field, Florida.

The four-day, LW exercise focused on maturing the 23rd WG’s ability to employ Air Base Squadrons to generate airpower downrange and maintain C2 in contested environments.

“The 505th CCW provided outstanding support to exercise Ready Tiger and brought realism to the interaction between the Lead Wing and Air Component. This integration, the first during any wing-led ACE exercise, brought valuable lessons learned from both the 505th CCW and 23rd WG, and will ensure future ACE exercises are more realistic and successful,”  said Maj. Paul Ochs, 41st Rescue Squadron RT deputy exercise director, Moody AFB, Georgia.

The future Agile Flag exercise will test the LW’s mission generation, C2, and base operations support elements to prepare warfighters from multiple installations and major commands for what they may encounter deployed while supporting the joint force air component commander. 

 “The 705th is using their subject matter expertise in creating tailored academics that prepare Lead Wings to integrate quickly with Air Components.  Our academics provide a baseline that the Lead Wing can build upon while developing TTPs [tactics, techniques, and procedures] to integrate with an Air Component’s staffs,” said Lt. Col. Marcus Bryan, 705th TRS commander, Hurlburt Field, Florida.  “Our participation in Ready Tiger keeps us current on ACE Lead Wing employment concepts which directly informs our upcoming Lead Wing academic courses.”

Bryan continued, “This was the first time that a Lead Wing exercise used a real-time AOC replication cell to simulate the ‘normal’ back and forth interaction between an AOC/AFFOR and the Lead Wing, greatly increasing training fidelity for the 23rd Wing.  The experimental use of 505th TTG personnel sets the groundwork for using an operational C2 replication team during Agile Flag.”

“During Ready Tiger, I was able to replicate numerous, yet scaled functions such as the Chief of Combat Operations, Senior Offensive Duty Officer and Joint Personnel Recovery Center director directly with the 23rd WG’s WOC,” said Shawn Holsinger, 505th Training Squadron senior Combat Operations Division instructor, Hurlburt Field, Florida. “With extensive doctrinal knowledge and real-world experience on operational-level C2, our team is able to provide critical replication, similar to our AOC initial qualification training for 1500+ students per year.”

The 505th TRS is the USAF’s only AOC Formal Training Unit and trains geographic AOCs and functional OCs joint and coalition warfighters on C2 processes and systems used to employ air, space and cyber at the operational level of war.

In previous exercises, the Air Component was simulated however in RT 22-01 interactions between the 505th TTG replication team provided realistic interaction between the LW WOC and the Air Component.

“Our combined team of 705th Training Squadron and 505th Training Squadron C2 experts created an initial Air Component Replication Team for the Lead Wing exercise successfully providing operational C2 interaction within exercise Ready Tiger.  The connection and growth of Wing Operations Centers within theater battle management constructs and with the Air Component staffs is a necessary evolution to the future success of integrating the Lead Wing construct into ACE concepts,” said Col. Adam Shelton, 505th Test and Training Group commander, Hurlburt Field, Florida.