The U.S. Air Force 114th Fighter Wing executed a unique two-week Readiness Exercise (RE) that tested their ability to stand up an Aerospace Control Alert (ACA) sight, test Agile Combat Employment (ACE) skills on short notice, and facilitate Multi-Capable Airmen (MCA) training at Joe Foss Field, S.D. and the surrounding area from Aug. 3-13, 2021. In part one of the RE, the 114FW stood up ACA sites that operated 24/7 at Joe Foss Field and surrounding areas to evaluate their ability to defend the mid-section of North America on short notice and to test ACE skills with realistic combat scenarios to train for current and future contingencies. The concept of ACE is having the ability to deploy with minimal equipment and Airmen to accomplish the flying mission.
“We’re looking for a way to build better Airmen each and every day. So the two week Readiness Exercise helps us focus on dynamic environments and problem solving for our Airmen at the very lowest level and also helps to build their foundational skills in basic weapons, basic emergency medicine survivability, as well as a broader category of possessing the ability to survive and operate in all environments. It’s likely to be in austere locations, and it’s likely to require Airmen to make their own risk management decisions in order to accomplish the mission. This MCA training gives our Airmen an increased warrior ethos so they can feel confident they can handle themselves mentally and physically, as well as professionally in any sort of environment, peacetime or in combat.,” said Col. Mark Morrell, 114th Fighter Wing commander.
In part two of the RE, the 114th FW challenged Airmen to step outside their comfort zones and complete MCA training on tasks outside of their normal jobs through Warrior Breakout Sessions. These sessions consisted of numerous classes ranging from hand-to-hand combat to aircraft recovery and maintenance familiarization to Tactical Combat Casualty Care, among others. Many of these sessions were taught by combat readiness instructors from Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. Currently there is a push within the Air Force to transition our Airmen from being focused solely on their primary jobs to building multi-functional mission essential skills so Airmen are able to jump into the fight no matter where it is.
The 114th Fighter Wing (114 FW) is a unit of the South Dakota Air National Guard, stationed at Joe Foss Field Air National Guard Station, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The South Dakota Air National Guard was founded by Medal of Honor recipient and former Governor Joe Foss on 20 September 1946 at Sioux Falls, South Dakota with federal recognition of the 175th Fighter Squadron. Constituted as the 114th Fighter-Interceptor Group, and allotted to the Air National Guard on 15 April 1956. If activated to federal service, the Wing is gained by the United States Air Force Air Combat Command. The South Dakota Air National Guard has a long history of flying the most advanced aircraft in the Air Force fleet. The wing is an Air Combat Command gained F-16C/D Fighting Falcon wing which deploys worldwide and executes fighter sorties to destroy enemy forces with conventional munitions.