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NEWS | June 7, 2022

New ANG exercise tests ACE in Northern Michigan

By Capt. Andrew Layton Michigan National Guard Public Affairs

Air National Guard (ANG) Airmen and aircraft from more than 12 states will converge June 4-18 for the first annual Air National Guard (ANG) Readiness Exercise (REX) Program event, Agile Rage 22. This exercise is hosted at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, as part of the National All-Domain Warfighting Center (NADWC) in Northern Michigan. Agile Rage focuses on Air National Guard training priorities and future warfighting concepts. Most notably, Agile Rage brings to the forefront Agile Combat Employment (ACE) capabilities and tests Airmen in an austere combat environment.

Exercises similar to Agile Rage 22 are re-defining Air Force operations, prioritizing focus on decentralized Command & Control and distributed military operations.

“Agile Rage 22 is bringing together multiple ANG capabilities from across the nation to test the performance of their Multi-Capable Airmen in a highly contested environment,” said Maj. Garett Ruby, Agile Rage 22 exercise director. “Through Agile Rage 22, the ANG is developing and validating tactics, techniques and procedures for the future war fight, including distributed and austere air-to-ground strike capabilities for large-scale combat operations.”

Uniting several hundred Airmen from across the country, Agile Rage 22 will validate proficiency in numerous mission-essential tasks such as Joint Intelligence Operations, Airspace Control, Search and Rescue coordination, Intra-theater airlift, Close Air Support and Agile Combat Employment (ACE). Additionally, Air Force Special Warfare (AFSPECWAR) will integrate assets via long-range digital and voice communications to enhance targeting and intelligence capabilities in a Large Scale Combat Operational (LSCO) environment.

Air National Guard aircraft scheduled to participate in Agile Rage 22 include the A-10 Thunderbolt II, F-16 Fighting Falcon, C-130J Hercules, and the MQ-9 Reaper. Additionally, elements from Special Tactics, Tactical Air Control Parties, Tactical Air Control Squadron, Combat Communications units, and various other supporting elements round-out the fighting force.

Agile Rage 22 emphasizes the use of ACE, a universal application to all combat air force operations. ACE is the ability to project combat power anytime, anywhere, to complicate an adversary's decision making process. To exercise these concepts, participating aircraft will redeploy at short notice to Volk Field, Wisconsin during portions of Agile Rage 22 and perform integrated combat turns (ICTs). An ICT enables the quick rearming and refueling of a running jet to reduce the aircrew’s ground time and get them back into the air.

“Northern Michigan is one of the best places in the nation to test the agility of the joint force.” said Brig. Gen. Bryan Teff, assistant adjutant general and Michigan Air National Guard commander. “Michigan is a champion for ACE and we are proud to host the first-ever iteration of Agile Rage, which leverages our state’s unique partnerships, training environment and ample resources to prepare for today’s fight, posture for future missions, and stay one step ahead of our adversaries.”