Eight F-15E Strike Eagles from the 335th Fighter Squadron and Airmen from the 4th Mission Support Group and 4th Maintenance Group assigned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base participated in a lead wing and agile combat employment (ACE) exercise at Kinston Regional Jetport, Jan. 11.
The 4th Fighter Wing is one of four wings from Air Combat Command that is designated as a lead wing. The lead wing creates deployed teams composed of several Air Force operational capabilities, including a wing headquarters command and control force element, one or more mission generation force elements, and an air base squadron force element.
“Lead wings are essentially an aggregation of capabilities across our Air Force in a construct that can lead and go into any location on the globe – arriving as a previously trained and certified team and then fighting as a previously certified team,” said Gen. Mark Kelly, ACC commander.
In addition to exercising the lead wing structure, Seymour Johnson AFB exercised ACE elements which allows 4th FW units to forward deploy as teams into different locations that are not traditionally used.
“The ability for the 4th FW to operate from different locations with varying levels of capacity and support ensures Airmen and aircrews are postured to respond across the spectrum of military operations,” said Col. Kurt Helphinstine, 4th FW commander. “Exercising ACE ensures our aircraft and Airmen are ready to protect and defend the United States when called upon.”