147th Attack Wing Tests Agile Combat Employment in Joint Exercise
By Courtesy Story, 147th Attack Wing
/ Published July 28, 2021
HOUSTON, TX -- 147th Airmen moved aircraft and equipment from Ellington Field JRB to Ebbing Field Air National Guard Base, Ark. to demonstrate MQ-9 Immediate Reaction Force (IRF) feasibility.
“The 147th Attack Wing’s recent participation in joint exercise Establish Fury is a testament to our Airmen’s commitment to mission execution beyond conventional employment,” said Colonel Andrew
Camacho, 147th Attack Wing commander.
147th Airmen transported one MQ-9 Reaper by truck and flew two MQ-9s from Houston to Ebbing Field ANGB, Ark. for the three-week exercise, practicing the 147th ATKW’s agile combat employment (ACE). The ACE concept tests airmen’s ability to quickly and efficiently set-up operations, fly, and operate in an austere environment at a moment’s notice.
The 147th Attack Wing spearheaded the major muscle movements of this exercise to include packing and unpacking aircraft, munitions and equipment; and moving them 450 miles, resulting in more than 55 flight hours and 14 munitions employed across several dynamic training scenarios.
The exercise demonstrated the Wing’s ability to stand-up an MQ-9 immediate reaction force by deploying assets from Ellington Field to be fully mission capable at Ebbing Field within 72 hours.
In addition to being operational within three days, the 147th Airmen also flew two MQ-9 Reapers from Ellington Field to a temporary duty location for the first time.
The exercise included the opportunity to test joint interoperability using close air support at Razorback Range in Arkansas with 13 joint ground and air parties. MQ-9 aircrews, under the direction of Joint Terminal Attack Controllers, successfully dropped 100% of munitions allocated for the exercise.
“As we look to meet our nation’s peer and near-peer threats, this exercise serves as a clear demonstration of the unit’s implementation of the Air Force Chief of Staff’s charge to “accelerate change,” said Colonel Camacho. “I could not be prouder of our team’s cutting-edge innovation within the MQ-9 community!”
The 147th Attack Wing is already planning Establish Fury 2022 to further test their IRF capabilities using the ACE concept.