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Spangdahlem ACE Airmen integrate with German Air Force during Castle Forge

A U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter jet assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, takes off from a runway at Büchel Air Base, Germany, Nov. 4, 2021. F-16's from Spangdahlem integrated with the German Air Force Tornados during Castle Forge, a multinational, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa-wide Agile Combat Employment event. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Ali Stewart)

A U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter jet assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, takes off from a runway at Büchel Air Base, Germany, Nov. 4, 2021. F-16's from Spangdahlem integrated with the German Air Force Tornados during Castle Forge, a multinational, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa-wide Agile Combat Employment event. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Ali Stewart)

A German Air Force Tornado fighter jet takes off from Büchel Air Base, Germany, during Castle Forge, a MAJCOM-wide  Agile Combat Employment Initial Operating Capability event,  Nov. 4, 2021. Participation in multinational exercises like Castle Forge enhances our professional relationships and improves overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis. (Courtesy photo by Dr. Sandeep Mulgund)

A German Air Force Tornado fighter jet takes off from Büchel Air Base, Germany, during Castle Forge, a MAJCOM-wide Agile Combat Employment Initial Operating Capability event, Nov. 4, 2021. Participation in multinational exercises like Castle Forge enhances our professional relationships and improves overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis. (Courtesy photo by Dr. Sandeep Mulgund)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron show members of the German Air Force how to refuel U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter jets during Castle Forge, an Agile Combat Employment exercise at Büchel Air Base, Germany, Nov. 3, 2021. The integration, part of a U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa Agile Combat Employment event, gave both nations the opportunity to train together and improve interoperability for future operations and contingencies in the region. (Courtesy photo by Dr. Sandeep Mulgund)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron show members of the German Air Force how to refuel U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter jets during Castle Forge, an Agile Combat Employment exercise at Büchel Air Base, Germany, Nov. 3, 2021. The integration, part of a U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa Agile Combat Employment event, gave both nations the opportunity to train together and improve interoperability for future operations and contingencies in the region. (Courtesy photo by Dr. Sandeep Mulgund)

A member of the German air force refuels a U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter jet during Castle Forge, an Agile Combat Employment exercise at Büchel Air Base, Germany, Nov. 3, 2021. Exercises like these occur frequently to ensure that the 52nd Fighter Wing is ready and capable of responding to contingencies at a moment's notice, no matter the obstacle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali Stewart)

A member of the German air force refuels a U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter jet during Castle Forge, an Agile Combat Employment exercise at Büchel Air Base, Germany, Nov. 3, 2021. Exercises like these occur frequently to ensure that the 52nd Fighter Wing is ready and capable of responding to contingencies at a moment's notice, no matter the obstacle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali Stewart)

Two German Air Force aircraft maintainers prepare to launch a U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter jet during an Agile Combat Employment exercise at Büchel Air Base, Germany, Nov. 3, 2021. ACE is a concept of operations that envisions the use of agile operations to generate resilient airpower in a contested environment, thus enhancing our ability to deter, defend and win across the spectrum of conflict. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali Stewart)

Two German Air Force aircraft maintainers prepare to launch a U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter jet during an Agile Combat Employment exercise at Büchel Air Base, Germany, Nov. 3, 2021. ACE is a concept of operations that envisions the use of agile operations to generate resilient airpower in a contested environment, thus enhancing our ability to deter, defend and win across the spectrum of conflict. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali Stewart)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kostyantyn Morozyuk, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief (right), instructs German Air Force aircraft maintainers on how to launch a U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter jet at Büchel Air Base, Germany, Nov. 3, 2021. Throughout the exercise, Airmen were given the opportunity to teach their host nation partners about the aircraft that they dedicate so many hours to, while also having the opportunity to learn about the German Tornado aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali Stewart)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kostyantyn Morozyuk, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief (right), instructs German Air Force aircraft maintainers on how to launch a U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter jet at Büchel Air Base, Germany, Nov. 3, 2021. Throughout the exercise, Airmen were given the opportunity to teach their host nation partners about the aircraft that they dedicate so many hours to, while also having the opportunity to learn about the German Tornado aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali Stewart)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kostyantyn Morozyuk, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, instructs German Air Force aircraft maintainers on how to perform pre-flight checks on an F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter jet prior to takeoff at Büchel Air Base, Germany, Nov. 3, 2021. Participation in multinational exercises like Castle Forge enhances our professional relationships and improves overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during a time of crisis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali Stewart)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kostyantyn Morozyuk, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, instructs German Air Force aircraft maintainers on how to perform pre-flight checks on an F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter jet prior to takeoff at Büchel Air Base, Germany, Nov. 3, 2021. Participation in multinational exercises like Castle Forge enhances our professional relationships and improves overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during a time of crisis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali Stewart)

A U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter jet assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, sits on an apron at Büchel Air Base, Germany, Nov. 3, 2021, during Castle Forge. The Agile Combat Employment exercise allowed Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing the opportunity to work in a simulated contingency environment with their host nation partners in the German Air Force. This is the first time integrating with the German Air Force into Agile Combat Employment operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali Stewart)

A U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter jet assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, sits on an apron at Büchel Air Base, Germany, Nov. 3, 2021, during Castle Forge. The Agile Combat Employment exercise allowed Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing the opportunity to work in a simulated contingency environment with their host nation partners in the German Air Force. This is the first time integrating with the German Air Force into Agile Combat Employment operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali Stewart)

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, sits on an apron at Büchel Air Base, Germany, after a flight from Spangdahlem AB on Nov. 2, 2021. The aircraft landed at Büchel AB as part of Castle Forge, a USAFE-AFAFRICA-led joint multinational training event incorporating eight wings throughout the area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali Stewart)

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, sits on an apron at Büchel Air Base, Germany, after a flight from Spangdahlem AB on Nov. 2, 2021. The aircraft landed at Büchel AB as part of Castle Forge, a USAFE-AFAFRICA-led joint multinational training event incorporating eight wings throughout the area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali Stewart)

BUECHEL AIR BASE, Germany --

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base launched and operated two F-16 Fighting Falcons from a partner-nation airfield at Büchel Air Base, Germany, Nov. 2-5, during Castle Forge, a U.S. Air Forces Europe- Air Forces Africa led event. 

This is the first time the German Air Force integrated with Spangdahlem’s Agile Combat Employment operations as part of a USAFE ACE Initial Operating Capability event where each wing participated.

“When we use ACE, the Agile Combat Employment... we go out with lighter units to different places to be able to move around more frequently… we did a lot of that throughout the entire theater,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Leslie Hauck, 52nd Fighter Wing commander. “We sent a couple jets over to our friends in Buechel and flew with them… they turned our aircraft and we even had some of our maintainers [work] on one of their aircraft. It looks really cool to see us all working together and showing the strength of NATO.”

Castle Forge demonstrates the joint force’s combined ability to respond in times of crisis with a flexible, reassuring presence, aligning with the 52nd FW’s mission of delivering airpower in order to promote regional stability.

Airmen from the 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron were given the opportunity to work side by side with their German partners in a contingency setting, which included exchanges where the Germans worked to launch an F-16 Fighting Falcon.

“We’ve been planning and coordinating with our Büchel partners from typical base support, to maintenance professional exchanges where our crew chiefs get to work on launching a German Tornado,” said Maj. Dominic Collins, 52nd FW Plans and Programs director. “The German maintenance specialists are out here, today, learning how to launch our F-16’s.”

ACE is a concept of operations that envisions the use of agile operations to generate resilient airpower in a contested environment, thus enhancing our ability to deter, defend and win across the spectrum of conflict.

During the exercise, maintenance Airmen are trained on tasks outside the spectrum of their normal duties, which fit the bill of a multi-capable Airman, the pinnacle of ACE. 

“It can be a little uncomfortable doing something outside of your normal job,” said Staff Sgt. Briana Mehl, weapons load crew chief. “But we are trained and prepared to perform these types of jobs in this kind of environment at a moment’s notice.”

Castle Forge is a USAFE-AFAFRICA-led joint multinational training event supported by two prongs: F-15E training bases in Larissa, Greece, and a MAJCOM-wide ACE IOC event with all of USAFE’s eight wings. The forward deployed forces are engaged, postured and ready with credible force to assure, deter and defend in an increasingly complex security environment.