52nd LRS makes forward-deployed ACE exercise happen


U.S. Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing finish fueling and arming F-16 Fighting Falcons on the flightline at Ramstein Air Base, Jan. 22. The effort was in support of an Agile Combat Employment Exercise. The goal of ACE is to generate airpower in any environment with minimal personnel and equipment, and deter threats.

Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing participated in an Agile Combat Employment exercise at Ramstein Air Base, Jan. 22, to practice generating combat airpower in an austere environment and deter aggressors.

This was the first time the 52nd FW sent Airmen to a forward-operating location in support of ACE. Although maintainers and crew chiefs are known for the launch and recovery of jets, there is a lot more work that goes on behind the scenes.

The exercise would not be possible without the 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron.


U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron listen to a briefing at Ramstein Air Base, Jan. 22. Different units from the 52nd Fighter Wing participated in an Agile Combat Employment exercise to practice generating combat airpower in a deployed environment. 52nd LRS Airmen obtained training needed to drive on Ramstein’s flightline.

“A huge thing for the 52nd LRS is the planning and executing portion,” said Airman 1st Class Kyle Babauta, 52nd LRS logistics planner.

Days before the exercise, the squadron’s Installation Deployment Readiness Cell received tasks and requirements. After IDRC Airmen notified personnel and cargo tasked to participate in the exercise, the 52nd LRS provided transportation to Ramstein.

“The goal of the 52nd LRS during ACE is to ensure the deployment arm of the wing is able to deploy passengers and cargo at a moment’s notice to increase survivability,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jason Martin, 52nd LRS IDRC superintendent.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aaliyah Tucker, 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels facilities operator, carries a fuel hose on the flightline at Ramstein Air Base, Jan. 22. Tucker participated in an Agile Combat Employment exercise to ensure wing readiness and deter aggressors. A small team of 52nd Fighter Wing Airmen shipped cargo, loaded munitions, and refueled F-16 Fighting Falcons while participating in the exercise.

52nd LRS Airmen also refueled the F-16 Fighting Falcons while they were at Ramstein AB. The squadron’s work directly supports Spangdahlem’s mission.

“ACE is one of the top priorities for the wing,” Martin said. “It’s vital that the 52nd LRS not only participates in the exercise, but leads ACE’s deployment functions from start to finish.”

Col. David Epperson, 52nd FW commander, has three priorities: the strike mission, ACE, and integrated base defense. ACE ensures U.S. Air Forces in Europe are ready to protect and defend allies at a moment’s notice. One of the main goals of ACE is to deter adversaries by spreading out, making the political risk calculus too complex.

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron unload a trailer on the flightline at Ramstein Air Base, Jan. 22. 52nd Fighter Wing Airmen forward deployed from Spangdahlem Air Base to conduct an Agile Combat Employment exercise. The wing plans to conduct ACE exercises at other locations in the future to generate aircraft in any environment and deter aggressors.

Past ACE exercises conducted by the 52nd FW took place at Spangdahlem Air Base, but the wing plans to exercise at other forward-deployed locations in the future. ACE operations require advance planning to make the mission happen.

“Logistics is one of the most important functions in any deployment operation,” Martin said. “Precise planning from beginning to end starts with the IDRC.”