Lead Wing drills down on ACE C2

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Benjamin Ingold w/ additional inputs from 705th Training Squadron
  • 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs & 705th Training Squadron

The 366th Fighter Wing lead wing command and control Airmen participated in the Lead Wing Command and Control Course Nov. 1-4.

The LWC2C is a comprehensive tabletop exercise in game format conducted by the 705th Training Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida, to develop lead wing C2 skills in response to a simulated contingency scenario utilizing multiple areas of operation and Air Force installations.

This was the first official offering of the 705th TRS’s newest course which expanded the target lead wing audience to include wing-level Airmen, 612th Air Operations Center and 12th Air Force staff. In addition, the LWC2C’s mobile training team’s delivery method enabled maximum attendance of 366th FW’s Lead Wing A-Staff personnel allowing the Gunfighters to utilize home-station facilities.

The 366th FW embraced the “train-like-you-fight mentality” by conducting the 4-day course in field conditions.

“Conducting an academic course in a tent with deployable comms was a first for the 705th Training Squadron, and we have gotten great feedback from the students,” said Lt. Col. Benjamin Lee, 705th TRS director of operations. “Delivering the wargame-based course in field conditions got people into a deployed mindset and leveraged the immersive nature of our Kingfish ACE incorporation.”

Lee continued, “The Gunfighters really stepped up during the training, and our instructors loved it!”

The lead wing tabletop game is called Kingfish Agile Combat Employment, or ACE, and pays homage to the Tactical Airlift Control Elements using the Kingfish call sign during the Vietnam War. Kingfish Airmen opened and operated airfields in contested environments just like Airmen train to do today.

“You can’t teach Agile Combat Employment via PowerPoint,” said Charles Charlton, 705th TRS lead wing C2 deputy flight director. “ACE is very scenario driven and the interesting part of the game is the ability to have multiple scenarios that you have to employ ACE concepts and experience the outcomes.” 

Gunfighters and Airmen on temporary duty to Mountain Home Air Force Base split up into two teams and were given a scenario and challenged to allocate resources across the Pacific Air Forces area of responsibility. Selected installation capabilities were determined by chance during the game to mirror the dynamic nature of a real-world contingency.

Teams were comprised of Airmen with diverse skillsets and experience levels in the Air Force and needed to come together rapidly to work effectively. 

“This exercise has shown me that operating as a lead wing is a team effort,” said Airman 1st Class Brock Ledford, 366th FW command post junior controller. “In the beginning, I was put into a certain role, but as the days have gone on, I have been able to fill other roles when needed and it’s been good to learn the language of lead wing operations.”

Ledford said other benefits of the game were getting more comfortable operating with higher ranking Gunfighters and gaining additional knowledge about the operations of the 366th FW.

Realistic training opportunities like Kingfish ACE show the Gunfighter commitment to developing the nation’s most lethal lead wing and how the 366th FW is blazing a trail at the front of the Air Force’s shift to the ACE.