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Archive for the ‘Forces Focus’ Category

COMACC visits Hurlburt’s 505th Command and Control Wing

Sunday, April 11th, 2021

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. — Gen. Mark Kelly, commander of Air Combat Command, visited the 505th Command and Control Wing at Hurlburt Field, Florida, April 6. The 505th CCW is the U.S Air Force’s only wing dedicated to the Air Force’s core mission of command and control.

During his visit, Kelly toured the 505th CCW along with Chief Master Sgt. David Wade, command chief of ACC, to familiarize themselves with the wing’s C2 mission and the enlisted, officers, and civilians who execute its complex mission.

Gen. Kelly received an immersion brief, given by U.S. Air Force Col. Richard Dickens, commander of 505th CCW, leadership team, and honorary commanders.

Mr. Paul Lux, honorary commander of 505th CCW, and Ms. Cindy Frakes, honorary commander of 505th Test & Training Group shared how the ties they built during the wing’s last tour as part of 70 members from five Military Affairs Committees in the local area, prior to COVID-19, increased the proactive community voice for the 505th CCW and its mission.

U.S. Air Force Col. Francisco Gallei, commander of 505th TTG, discussed the group’s mission of premier testing, evaluation, training, and tactics development across C2, sensors, and battle management weapon systems.

Wade and Kelly learned that the 705th Training Squadron is the focal point for advanced Air Operations Center and Air Force Forces education and C2 process improvement. The squadron is launching the first Multi-domain Warfare Officer Instructor Upgrade Training course, which will begin in the next few months.

The leaders learned more about the unique C2 mission contributions of the wing’s units at Hurlburt Field, Florida, and the rest of its 13 geographically-separated units.

The 84th Radar Evaluation Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, monitors, evaluates, optimizes, and integrates fixed and mobile long-range radars for both the operational and federal communities. The 84th RADES also sets the standard for sensor coverage prediction and depiction, providing data analysis and unique radar forensics to support search and rescue missions and aircraft mishap investigations.

The 505th Combat Training Group, headquartered at Nellis AFB, Nevada, expertly and professionally conducts operational assessments/experimentation, develops advanced tactics, and trains warfighters for multi-domain integration, said Dickens.

Dickens continued, the 505th CCW, Detachment 1, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, provides airpower expertise and exercise support to the U.S. Army Mission Command Training Program and liaisons to the Combined Arms Center.

After the briefing, Kelly toured the battlespace as personnel from the 505th Combat Training Squadron, 505th Communications Squadron, U.S. Army Joint Support Team, and 505th CCW, Det 1 were supporting U.S. Army Warfighter Exercise 21-4, a multi-national exercise.

COMACC learned how the 605th Test & Evaluation Squadron conducts operational test & evaluation of C2, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems, including Airborne Warning and Control System, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, AOC, tactical air control party, Control and Reporting Centers, Air Defense Sectors, National Capital Region – Integrated Air Defense System, Distributed Common Ground Station, nuclear command, control, and communications, Common Mission Control Center, and other systems for the joint warfighter.

At the next stop, Wade and Kelly learned about the Advanced Programs’ building modernization efforts to enable the wing’s expanding missions. Despite these modernization efforts, they were briefed the current facility has been operating beyond capacity, which is why a consolidated Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility/Special Access Program Facility is the wing’s number one priority in the Area Development Plan.

Throughout the tour, Kelly seized several opportunities to recognize several of the 505th CCW’s best and brightest innovators for their exceptional performance.

• Senior Airman David Alvarado, 505th CTS
• Senior Airman Conner Kincaid, 505th CS
• Mr. Timothy Rincon, 605th TES
• Ms. Rhonda Berry, 505th CCW
• Capt. Stephen Perkins, 705th TRS
• Technical Sgt. Shanda Boyle, 505th Training Squadron

The tour’s final stop was the 505th TRS, the gateway for initial qualification training for all geographic and global Air Operations Centers. The squadron demonstrated how they train an operations team to oversee and ensure the general’s intent/directive is carried out from decision to action. While in the combat operations center, the leaders witnessed the team concept as each member carried out his/her responsibilities as dictated by the chief of combat operations during a training scenario that included a mock missile attack on Luke AFB, Arizona.

“It was great to host COMACC and Chief Wade,” said Col. Richard Dickens, commander of 505th CCW.  “We have a lot of high-performing Airmen that are valued members of our team, so seeing them get an opportunity to brief our senior leaders and demonstrate to them how they’re accelerating change was very rewarding.”

Headquartered at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, ACC is the primary provider of air combat forces to the U.S. warfighting commanders. The command provides command, control, communications, and intelligence systems; operates fighter, reconnaissance, battle-management, and electronic-combat aircraft; and conducts global information operations.

Story by 505th Command and Control Wing (ACC) Public Affairs

Photos by Mr. Keith Keel

5th SFAB, ‘Ghost Brigade,’ Complete First-of-Its Kind-Rotation

Monday, December 28th, 2020

FORT POLK, La. – The 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade completed a first-of-its kind-rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center’s 21-2 Rotation partnering an SFAB with a real-world unit, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord-based 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, “The Ghost Brigade,” in a decisive action validation exercise, Nov. 13-26, 2020.

“JRTC 21-02 was the culmination of 5th SFAB’s mission since its inception in June 2019 to man, equip, and train the Army’s newest combat brigade,” Brigade Operations Officer, Maj. Liam Walsh, said. “The training served as a proof of principle as the first SFAB Decisive Action CTC rotation.”

The Ghost Brigade closely integrated with SFAB Soldiers from the Brigade down to the Platoon level throughout the exercise.

“Our units worked alongside 5th SFAB, replicating the role of a professional, near-peer Allied army, which the SFAB was tasked to support as they would for a real-world partner force in the Indo-Pacific Command Area of Responsibility,” 1-2 SBCT Commander Col. Jared Bordwell said. “From the brigade to the individual levels, this rotation was all about supporting one another to make our team unbeatable.”

The SFAB is completely comprised of volunteers who were carefully vetted for service in the organization.

“This rotation has demonstrated that specially trained SFAB Soldiers, selected for their tactical expertise and professionalism, organized into small cohesive teams, and equipped with advanced communications systems can provide a decisive advantage to a threatened but capable foreign partner,” 5th SFAB Commanding General Brig. Gen. Curtis Taylor said.

Altogether, seven units participated in the rotation including the 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, 404th Army Field Support Brigade, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, 2-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, and the U.S. Marine Corps’ 6th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company.

Aviation support proved extremely critical during the rotation.

“The 16th CAB’s assets here allowed 5th SFAB to support 1-2 SBCT with a unique aviation capability of Apache and Blackhawk helicopters,” Brigade Aviation Officer, Maj. Ryan Hampton said. “Integrating recon, attack and lift assets for 1-2 SBCT’s scheme of maneuver allowed them to seamlessly expand their lethal reach across the battlefield.”

Hampton’s hard work in this regard earned him the title of, “Hero of the Battlefield” from JRTC Operations Group. Another Soldier recognized was 3rd Squadron Operations Advisor, Staff Sgt. Erica Myers.

“After training out here for two weeks, I really saw how diversity within our teams is a must,” Myers said. No one knows everything needed to successfully train alongside our partners, every Soldier is a crucial piece of the big picture.”

Myers’ also got the opportunity to advise several junior Soldiers from Ghost Brigade on the Raven Small Unmanned Aircraft System.

“They were certified but lacked confidence and understanding of their equipment,” Myers said. “The more time I had with them, the more confidence they gained. By the end of the rotation, I was able to get one of them their first solo flight and night flight.”

Myer’s Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. Timothy Ferguson shared a similar sentiment following the exercise.

“Our experience during JRTC 21-02 was a tremendous learning opportunity as it enabled us to visualize our role in the organization,” Ferguson said. “We gained invaluable experience through live repetition with our partnered force while forcing us to adapt and develop strategies across the competition, crisis, and conflict phases.

The 5th SFAB is expected to continue sending Teams into the Indo-Pacific region alongside U.S. partners there.

“As we look across the world today, there are many potential crisis scenarios where this kind of capability is absolutely vital to deterring aggression against US Allies and Partners,” Brig. Gen. Taylor said.

The 5th SFAB officially activated in May 2020 and has since sent Soldiers on missions to Thailand and Indonesia. With JRTC complete, the 5th SFAB has been validated for worldwide deployment in support of U.S. Combatant Commanders’ priorities.

By Maj William Leasure, 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade Public Affairs

Marines Prepare for European Deployment

Sunday, November 29th, 2020

Marines with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment zeroed their weapon optics as one of the first training exercises they will be conducting with Marine Rotational Force Europe 21.1. Marines are preparing for arctic cold weather, mountain warfare training, and enhancing interoperability with our Norwegian Allies.

U.S. Marine Corps photos by 2nd Lt. Kayla Olsen and Lance Cpl. Patrick King

Force Recon Marines Conduct Combat Readiness Evaluation

Saturday, October 17th, 2020

Marines and Sailors with Charlie Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division participate in a Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation (MCCRE) at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, from Aug. 20 – 27, 2020. The Company completed multiple training events in order to show its units readiness and combat effectiveness throughout the exercise for their upcoming deployment with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. (US Marine Corps video by Cpl Israel Chincio)

Fifteenth Air Force Activates, Consolidates Air Combat Comand’s Conventional Forces – Includes Significant Amount of AF Ground Forces

Saturday, August 29th, 2020


Fifteenth Air Force activated Aug. 20, integrating wings and direct reporting units from Twelfth Air Force and Ninth Air Force to form a new Numbered Air Force responsible for generating and presenting Air Combat Command’s conventional forces.

ACC’s conventional capabilities include fighter, remotely piloted aircraft, command and control, and rescue flying units plus Air-Ground Operations Airmen who integrate Air Force capabilities in combined arms operations, the Air Force’s dedicated base defense group, RED HORSE, or Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operations Repair Squadron Engineers, and the agile combat support units that open and operate our bases. In addition to organizing, training, and equipping ACC’s conventional forces, this new NAF will also present a deployable joint task force-capable headquarters that can provide command and control of integrated ACC forces.

“Consolidating these forces into the Fifteenth Air Force is another step toward implementing the Air Force’s new force generation construct and will enable the delivery of dynamic and agile combat airpower as directed by the National Defense Strategy,” said Gen. Mike Holmes, commander or ACC. “This reorganization will streamline and improve the way we present our conventional forces as part of the new USAF construct, while honoring our history and the dedication of our Airmen.”

Following this transition, Twelfth Air Force will focus on its component role for U.S. Southern Command as 12 AF/AFSOUTH. Meanwhile, the existing Ninth Air Force will be inactivated and U.S. Air Forces Central Command will be re-designated as 9 AF/AFCENT.

The creation of the new NAF is part of a larger force optimization effort within ACC, which began with the stand-up of Sixteenth Air Force, a dedicated information warfare NAF, last fall.

Maj. Gen. Chad Franks received the guidon from Holmes, assuming responsibility for leading the more than 45,000 Airmen assigned to the new NAF.

“When I took command of the Ninth Air Force in June 2019, I stated we would focus on getting even better, so we could continue to deliver unmatched lethal fires for our joint and coalition partners wherever it is required,” Franks said. “Through our joint task force-capable mission and the advocacy for our units, we have done that. As the Fifteenth Air Force, we will continue to progress further toward that vision and provide a lean and agile mission command and control of forces to enable us to protect, deter, and deploy against emerging threats. Thank you for allowing me the great honor to be the commander of the Fifteenth Air Force and I look forward to visiting all of the units in the near future.”

The Fifteenth Air Force was first established in 1943 as the Mediterranean theater’s air force. After World War II, it served as one of the primary NAFs in Strategic Air Command deterring Cold War Soviet aggression before transferring to Air Mobility Command in 1992 as an expeditionary task force.

No units will be physically moving and the majority of affected Airmen will not experience changes in their day-to-day operations.

By Staff Reports, Air Combat Command Public Affairs

USAF 36th Contingency Response Group Hosts Exercise Machete Green on Guam

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020


COVID-19 has disrupted many plans for governments, businesses and military operations but in some ways has created unique opportunities.

The 36th Contingency Response Group hosted and completed exercise Machete Green July 29-31, at Northwest Field. 

The exercise objectives were to open an airfield in a hostile and contested environment that teamed service members from the 36th CRG and the U.S. Navy’s Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25.

The 36th CRG normally, almost always, has a vast majority of its members from the expeditionary group traveling in support of real-world operations. However, due to COVID-19, the 36 CRG took advantage of the opportunity with many members present and in garrison to “sharpen their skill sets,” according to Col. Eric Schmidt, 36th CRG commander.

“This gives us an opportunity to come together and go through our mission sets,” Schmidt said. “It’s an opportunity to get some muscle movements on the exercise itself, which would be an air base opening in a contested environment.”

The 36 CRG enabled 107 warfighters the ability to hone their training techniques and procedures during EMG that focused on 85 tactical objectives that included: airfield survey, setting up defensive-fighting positions, temporary command center, and airfield withdrawal once the CRG’s objectives were completed.

“We are highly specialized,” Schmidt said. “All of these service members are getting an opportunity to do what they do, because everyone brings something different to the fight.”

Maj. Ryan Kiggins, 736th Security Forces Squadron commander, mentioned that opening an air base puts into practice tactics, techniques and procedures, or TTPs, that are employed in any environment that they could be sent to.

“This exercise will help validate and verify multiple positions and teams in order to maintain our quick-turn global-response capability,” Kiggins said.

Schmidt also mentioned that completing this exercise will improve sharing procedures with partners and allies to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“We are heavily invested in the PACAF, INDO-PACOM theater,” Schmidt said. “Currently, due to things outside our control, we have to exercise internally, but when restrictions ease in the future, we are looking to partner and build stronger relationships with our host-nation partners. One of the CRG’s primary goals is to bring the Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force) and Royal Australian Air Force into these exercises. Whenever we can work with a host nation or partner and work together in any kind of environment, developing those TTPs is important when we go have a joint fight together.”

Schmidt plans on leading the 36th CRG into more of these training events in the future.

“My plan is that our next exercise will focus on humanitarian assistance, and the following one, disaster response,” Schmidt said. “My main focus is to give our folks the opportunity to be out here working and training together. In my opinion, that’s a huge win in this environment and when we get tasked and go out the door. There is no doubt we will be ready.”

By SrA Michael S. Murphy, 36th Wing Public Affairs

First Munitions Squadron in AFSOC History

Sunday, July 12th, 2020


Formerly with the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, the munitions flight distinguished themselves as a new squadron in the 1st Special Operations Wing.

The 1st Special Operations Munitions Squadron activated July 8, 2020, and is the first munitions squadron in Air Force Special Operations Command history.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Clayton Seiler, commander of the 1st SOMUNS, assumed command after serving as the 7th Munitions Squadron commander at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

“Our role is to provide the best munitions support to our warfighters in the most efficient, effective and professional manner,” said Seiler.

1st SOMUNS Air Commandos build, collect, package and distribute munitions to the 1st SOW’s inventory aircraft, directly maintaining the readiness and lethality of the wing.

“There is a recognition for munitions being a unique skill set required for our mission,” said Seiler. “It also allows us to be a right sized squadron to focus on our Airmen and their families.”

The 1st SOMUNS is composed of four flights with more than 250 personnel, creating a separate squadron allowing focused leadership capable of being there for every Airman and their families.

“My family does so much to support what I’m doing here so I can focus and support our squadron needs,” said Seiler. “They’re my rock.”

Similar to Seiler’s family supporting him, he wants to create the same type of support within his squadron.

“We can make this squadron a culture and climate people want to be a part of,” said Seiler. “This is a great opportunity for everyone to make this squadron what they want it to be.”

Seiler’s first priority is to understand his Airmen, talk to his leadership team and build the squadron together.

“Our role is to support warfighters and ensure we provide them with everything needed to complete the mission,” said Seiler.

1st SOW aircraft are lethal because of the combat capability provided by the 1st SOMUNS.

“Without munitions, we would just have a fleet of airliners,” said Seiler.

By Airman 1st Class Blake Wiles, 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

The 75th Ranger Regiment Announces Permanent Activation of the Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

Effective June 16, 2020, the Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment is officially activated and an enduring part of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

The Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion was provisionally activated on May 22, 2017 at Fort Benning, Georgia.

It was announced in October 2019, that the battalion would became a permanent part of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

“Within Sullivan’s Charter for the 75th Ranger Regiment, we continue to evolve as an ‘awesome force composed of skilled, dedicated Soldiers who can do things with their hands and weapons better than anyone,’” Lt. Col. Timothy Sikora, Commander, Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion said.

“Today the intelligence and cyber Rangers remain at the top of their fields, able to do things with their tools that are rarely matched by their peers.”

“Each one of the RMIB Rangers earned their tan beret and scroll the same as every other military occupational specialty in the 75th Ranger Regiment formation,” Sikora added. “Everyone is a Ranger first.”

Whether it is unmanned aircraft systems operators, all-source analysts, geospatial analysts, human intelligence collectors, technical operations, electronic warfare or cyber analysts, RMIB Rangers make up the majority of Ranger-tabbed Soldiers in their specialties.

“In deployed and garrison environments, the RMIB adapts to meet the needs of the 75th Ranger Regiment,” Sikora said. “We are 75% towards our authorized fill and continue to actively recruit motivated Soldiers from all specialties to join our team.”

For more information on serving with RMIB, go to: or email [email protected] or [email protected].

About the Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion

The battalion’s mission is to recruit, train, develop, and employ highly trained and specialized Rangers to conduct full spectrum intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, cyber, and electronic warfare operations in order to enhance the Regimental Commander’s situational awareness and inform his decision-making process. Presently, the RMIB consists of a headquarters detachment and two companies.

The staff and command group are embedded within the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment. It leads the Regiment’s recruitment and management of intelligence Rangers, synchronizes intelligence training and operations across the Regiment and with other special operations and conventional forces, and also provides intelligence support to the Regimental staff.

The Military Intelligence Company possesses a diverse mix of capabilities which include all-source analysts, geospatial analysts, human intelligence collectors, counterintelligence agents, and unmanned aerial systems. This enables the company to conduct multi-discipline collection and production, expeditionary imagery collection and processing, exploitation, and dissemination of raw data, and all-source analysis, to further enable the Regiment’s training and operations.

The Cyber Electromagnetic Activities Company integrates and synchronizes cyber, electronic warfare, signals intelligence, and technical surveillance in support of the Regimental Commander’s objectives. The CEMA Company represents a new approach in line with the Army’s intent of fielding a modernized force capable of operations on any front. The multi-domain concept provides a non-linear approach where all events can occur across the environment at any time. CEMA places emphasis on innovation, technological advancement and electronic pursuit to support real time operations against any threat, digital or otherwise.

Rangers Lead the Way!