3rd Munitions Squadron conducts Arctic Warrior, tests ACE/MCA concepts

  • Published
  • By Maria Galvez
  • JBER Public Affairs

The 3rd Munitions Squadron developed effective practices to establish a method of building and transporting munitions in support of Agile Combat Employment while employing multi-capable Airmen during the Arctic Warrior exercise Nov. 15 -16.

Multi-capable Airmen refers to the ACE concept of training Airmen to do basic tasks outside of their usual specialty code in order to be more well-rounded. In the 3rd MUNS, Airmen in Munitions and Weapons career fields put these capabilities to the test by building rapid munitions packages and developing transportation mechanisms to ensure delivery to operating locations.

“When the MCA concept was unveiled, there was doubt that we would be able to effectively learn new processes and demonstrate them should they ever need to,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Matthew Reiland, 3rd MUNS maintenance operations officer. “When we practice them successfully, it gives people confidence in the concept that what will be asked from them can be achieved.”

The exercise held at the Six Mile Lake and Hillside sites on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson gave participants an understanding of their true capabilities to operate out of an unfamiliar location without the usual personnel they would normally turn to for assistance.

"Our exercise this week established multi-capable Airmen teams by blending Munitions and Weapons Air Force Specialty Codes to create rapid munitions packages primed for delivery across the Pacific to combat-ready F-22s,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Ryan Vanartsdalen, 3rd MUNS commander. “We ultimately tested our noncommissioned officers’ ability to think on their feet and empowered them to accept risk at lower levels, so our agility and light footprint becomes a deterrent in itself."

The ultimate goal of ACE is to remove the Air Force’s reliance on main operation bases and instead enables them to project air power from a smaller network of more dispersed forward operating locations.

The 3rd MUNS currently supports two deployment rotations – the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron in Lask Air Base, Poland, and the 525th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron in Kadena Air Base, Japan.

“Over the past several days, I have seen a team of professionals put their heads together and develop solutions at the junior NCO level and below to continue to execute the mission despite our operational constraints,” said Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Lucas Sanders, 3rd MUNS production flight chief. “It's just one more reason why 3rd MUNS is ‘Always Ready and Lethal.’”