PACAF leadership, coalition, joint leaders visit Agile Reaper 24-1

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  • By Capt. Alexandra Buckley

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam – More than 20 distinguished visitors, including Gen. Kevin Schneider, Pacific Air Forces commander, gained insight and exposure to the activities of the 3rd Air Expeditionary Wing at Andersen Air Force Base and forward operating stations known as spokes at Northwest Field, Andersen AFB, Guam, as well as Tinian, Northern Mariana Islands, April 12, 2024.

Other attendees included U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. David Nahom, commander, Alaskan Command, Alaskan NORAD Region and Eleventh Air Force; U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Gregory Huffman, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Representative, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, and commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas and Joint Region Marianas; Royal Canadian Army Brig. Gen. Eric Landry, deputy commanding general, I Corps; U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas Palenske, 36th Wing commander; and the leaders of many other units across the Pacific.

Over the course of the visit, leaders were able to talk to Airmen from the 3rd AEW who tested and established tactics and procedures in pursuit of agile combat employment.

The U.S. Air Force is changing the way it organizes, trains, and equips Airmen for the first time in decades through ACE, and the 3rd AEW continues to lead the way regarding expeditious training of deployment, establishment, and redeployment of entire combat air power packages.

“This iteration of Agile Reaper is a testament to deliberately pushing the boundaries of what an Air Expeditionary Wing can achieve in combat scenarios,” said Schneider. “Exercises like Agile Reaper demonstrate that in the Pacific, our forces are agile, maneuverable, and lethal.”

After arriving at Tinian International Airport, the group saw the spoke operations, which was run by approximately 100 Airmen of different specialties, to receive, bed down, and launch military aircraft such as the 90th Fighter Squadron and 477th Fighter Group F-22 Raptors from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

“Our Airmen have exceeded expectations in their ingenuity and resiliency over the course of this iteration of Agile Reaper,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Kevin Jamieson, 3rd AEW commander. “We showcased what a fully operational deployable wing can do given the right resources and personnel.”

While the visitors looked on, the spoke exercised an expeditious launch of aircraft on the ground, taking mere minutes to get personnel notified and respond accordingly.

In ensuring all participants are acting according to as combat-representative roles as possible, Agile Reaper 24-1 facilitates increased readiness and performance in any future high-end fight. The 3rd AEW goal is to remain at the forefront of realistic employment of ACE to be effective and efficient as the Air Force moves away form hardened and entrenched physical and logistical structures of the past toward a more sustainable model where force packages are light and lean in personnel and cargo requirements.

Staff Sgt. Trevor Wiley,15th Operations Support Squadron Radar, airfield & weather systems specialist, poses for a photo with his new patch during exercise Agile Reaper 24-1 at Northwest Field forward operating site on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, April 12, 2024. Members from the 3rd OSS established and conducted air operations on the airfield, which is geographically separated from other parts of Andersen Air Force Base. The expeditious build-up of Northwest Field FOS was made possible through the employment of the Air Force concept of Mission-Ready Airmen. MRA optimizes wartime operational mission generation through Airmen working side-by-side with Airmen outside their Air Force Specialty Code and applying those core skills when needed, in order to ensure mission success. In a wartime environment, ensuring redundancies with Airmen understanding and being able to act outside their core specialty will increase the survivability and success of forces in the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Melissa Estevez)