Mobility Airmen exercise ACE capabilities during Nodal Lightning

  • Published
  • By Sheila deVera
  • JBER Public Affairs

The 732d Air Mobility Squadron kicked off its third iteration of the exercise Nodal Lightning at Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska, 18 to 20 October.

Exercise Nodal Lightning is the 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing's (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii) exercise focused on Agile Combat Employment. The Nodal Lightning incorporates the ACE concept, allowing Airmen from the 732 AMS to test their ability to perform core operations in a less-than-optimal environment while improving interoperability. 

If the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson base becomes unavailable, the 732 AMS can operate their mission at Ted Stevens International Airport. Using Ted Stevens International Airport as an alternate location allowed Airmen to plan and execute an operation in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable scenario.

“Our goal is to send a minimized team composed of multi-capable Airmen trained on aerial port and aircraft maintenance tasks,” said 2nd Lt. Jacob Magana, 732nd AMS aircraft services officer-in-charge. “If we are unable to execute and operate Air Mobility Command mission from JBER, we need to execute rapid global mobility, whether the tasks are in the Airman’s career field or not.”

Two teams were composed of 10 Airmen each; one team was a specialized and trained multi-capable team, and the second team focused on the nodal capacity of the Long-Range Radar Site operations.

In the exercise scenario, the team needs to successfully load cargo on a Douglas DC-6 to deliver equipment at the LRRS and perform an on-and off-load of equipment to test their rapid global mobility procedures.

“Our Airmen, both military and civilian, synchronized our efforts with the 673d Air Base Wing and Ted Stevens Airport to support the movement of material handling, equipment, supplies, and use of the airport real estate,” said Air Force Tech Sgt. Macer Allen, 732d AMS air freight noncommissioned-officer-in-charge. “During the exercise, we conducted mobility operations on both civilian and military aircraft. These operations included aircraft launch and recovery along with on-and off-load of equipment.”

Nodal Lightning also allowed the team to test how efficiently and effectively they respond in contested or degraded contingency environments, or different airfields, as their mission requirements do not change.

“In today’s environment, we must train and test our Airmen in multiple roles and in multiple unknown locations to create an agile culture capable of executing any mission regardless of location,” Magana added. “Executing at Ted Stevens allowed for expert employment during real scenarios where our home station operations could become degraded or unavailable due to other significant situations or events.”