The 513th Air Control Group provided command and control for joint exercise Gunslinger 22 June 1-24, 2022, in Salina, Kansas. First of its kind, Gunslinger is a large joint military exercise conducted by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, and the Kansas Air National Guard’s 134th Air Control Squadron designed to increase aircraft control and training for potential real-world contingencies. 513th ACG Air battle managers, Maj. Levi Limas and 2nd Lt. Stephanie Pihl-Jacks, provided support to the Marines and Kansas ANG in the exercise as the AWACS liaison officers to both the 970th and 960th Airborne Air Control Squadron.
Schorr said,”The joint exercise with more than 1,300 military personnel from more than 11 training centers across the country provided great understanding and knowledge for the 513th ACG. It’s not often an E-3 Sentry AWACS airman has the opportunity to witness the joint fight up close.”
“My role is to plan the mission for the AWACS. We weren’t able to bring the whole Air Control Group here to the exercise, so I’m here to see what the exercise planners need so I can call back to Tinker Air Force Base to tell them what we are going to provide to the fight,” Limas said.
“The 513th ACG seized the rare opportunity to work alongside Marine Force Reserve, or MARFORRES, the smallest of all the Reserve components, in the exercise. As one of many tactical command and control nodes in the larger Joint All-Domain C2 environment, E-3 Sentry AWACS operators must understand the C2 architecture of each service and how our operations can better support one another in a peer-to-peer, contested environment,” said deputy commander of the 513th Air Control Group, Col. Alison Schorr.
As the U.S. Air Force adopts agile combat employment, or ACE, as doctrine, the concept of lighter, more agile C2 nodes become a necessity. Military members performed a broad range of operations including fixed wing and helicopter operations along with aviation ground support. This exercise enables every participant to apply the skills they’ve sharpened during Gunslinger 22 in a large-scale, complex and dynamic scenario,” said Ramsburg. By integrating joint training objectives and leveraging each service’s strengths. Gunslinger concluded training June 24, 2022 with a combat search and rescue mission focusing on rescuing two pilots from a simulated combat environment.