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52nd Maintenance Group practices ICT, ACE to gain edge on adversaries

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Zachary Ward, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew team chief, mounts an inert AIM-120 air-to-air to an F-16 Fighting Falcon during an Integrated Combat Turn exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 17, 2020. Ward ensured the missile properly mounted to the aircraft and then engaged the detent to ensure the missile remained mounted to the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tyler Ward, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron dedicated crew chief, marshals an F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron during an Integrated Combat Turn exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 17, 2020. The ICT was performed in conjunction with the Wing's implementation of the Agile Combat Employment concept, which is designed to create a more flexible, resilient force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tyler Ward, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron dedicated crew chief, right, performs fueling operations of an F-16 Fighting Falcon during an Integrated Combat Turn exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 17, 2020. Ward performed a hot-pit refuel, which is refueling an aircraft with the engines on. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force service members assigned to the 52nd Fighter Wing participate in an Integrated Combat Turn exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 17, 2020. The ICTs are an efficient method of munitions loading, refueling and minor servicing of the aircraft to reduce the amount of time the aircraft is out of the fight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Edgar Casanas, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew member, finishes installing a cable from an inert AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile to a LAU-118 launcher on an F-16 Fighting Falcon during an Integrated Combat Turn exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 17, 2020. Part of the ICT method involves loading weapons with the aircraft engine still running, saving time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Zachary Ward, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew chief, loads an inert AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile onto an F-16 Fighting Falcon, while Senior Airman Edgar Casanas, 52nd AMXS load crew member, prepares a LAU-129 for mounting an inert AIM-9X sidewinder air-to-air missile during an Integrated Combat Turn exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 17, 2020. ICTs have been previously used to empower the Air Force mission and are being incorporated into Agile Combat Employment efforts to increase capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --

Members of the 52nd Maintenance Group practiced their Integrated Combat Turn capabilities in conjunction with the 52nd Fighter Wing’s implementation of the Agile Combat Employment concept at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 17, 2020.

The ICTs establish an efficient method for munitions loading, minor servicing, and refueling of the aircraft while its engines are still running. This reduces the time the jet is on the ground.

“ICTs are a process that have been around for a long time and are being brought back across the Air Force to give us a competitive edge on our near-to-peer adversaries,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jason Jaramillo, 52nd MXG lead standardization crew member.

These capabilities have been used in the past to empower the Air Force mission. Now, these ICT methods, as well as multi-capable Airmen, can be applied to ACE.

“The ICTs are significant in that they allow us to load and return the aircraft in a fraction of the time that it usually takes,” Jaramillo said. “This ultimately increases sortie generation whether it be for home base training or real-world employment. ACE is significant in that it gives us a way to increase force generation capabilities in a contested environment as well as reducing our dependency on operating at a main base. The ACE concept will also prepare our people to be more flexible and multi-capable Airmen.”

By applying ICT tactics crews are able to diminish the amount of time aircraft are out of the fight.

U.S Air Force Tech. Sgt. Aaron Taylor, 52nd MXG lead standardization crew team chief said that in an ICT a jet can be reloaded in significantly less time than in a non-ICT reload where the jet would have to go back to the parking spot, shut down, and restart after– a much longer process.

The weapons standardization section assists in the facilitation of ACE and is the focal point for all ICT training.

“We at WS developed a program and planned how Spangdahlem will train as well as implement the ACE and ICT concepts,” Jaramillo said. “We will also certify all the personnel involved in the ICT operation along with maintaining their re-occurring proficiency training and records. As Weapons Standardization, our main responsibilities are to establish munitions loading standards, procedures, and policies to support mission requirements.”

Spangdahlem AB plans to continue the collaboration between the ACE and ICT programs.

“We are trying to incorporate the ICT portion into ACE at least once a month so we can keep this going,” Taylor said.