Multi-capable Airmen execute ICT exercise in Kinston

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kylie Barrow
  • 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

 Airmen assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, participated in an integrated combat turn exercise at Kinston Regional Jetport May 5, 2022.

An integrated combat turn is successfully executed when Airmen work together to complete a hot-pit refuel while arming an aircraft.

Airmen assigned to 333rd, 334th and 336th Fighter Generation Squadrons, the 4th Logistics Readiness Squadron, the 4th Maintenance Group, as well as the 4th Civil Engineer Squadron traveled to KRJ with limited personnel, equipment and fuel as part of the exercise.

These efforts fall under the Air Force’s dynamic force employment plan, and highlights a new way of deploying and fighting against adversaries. Under the dynamic force employment plan falls agile combat employment. A major part of ACE is the creation of a multi-capable Airmen mindset. Multi-capable Airmen are Airmen who are trained in tasks outside of their primary specialty in order to reduce the overall personnel footprint.

“During the ACE movement, where our Airmen went to Kinston, which acted as the austere environment, with minimal amount of people and minimal amount of equipment,” said Senior Master Sgt. Kyle Overby, 333rd FGS lead production superintendent. “The operation performed at Kinston was an integrated combat turn, or ICT, which is when an aircraft pulls up and personnel perform refuel operations and ammunition loading simultaneously without fully shutting the aircraft down.”

The intent of an ICT is to perform these tasks and get the aircraft, as well as the Airmen and their equipment, out of the location as quickly and safely as possible. The exercise demonstrated the 4th FW’s ability to rapidly deploy and establish forward-operating sites in military and civilian locations.

Overby also stated the importance of ACE, which changes usual operation and deployment routines as a force. For years, the U.S. Air Force has deployed and stayed at the same locations, which has allowed potential adversaries to track and follow troop movements. Overby mentioned by changing how the USAF deploys and operates, it changes what potential adversaries know.

He also explained that teaching troops to operate in austere locations makes it harder for neer-peer adversaries to locate deployed forces. Once those forces are located by adversaries, they have already completed the mission and moved on. This allows for units to be agile and unpredictable in their movements.

To effectively display these capabilities, fighter units train in scenarios where there are limited resources, personnel, and time to generate sorties from almost any available airfield in the area.

“I’ve never loaded on a live aircraft before, and it was kind of intimidating at first,” said Airman 1st Class Ariangie Perez Magdaleno, 333rd FGS weapons crew member. “But, I feel more confident in my ability to perform under the type of pressure doing an ICT brings and doing it in an actual deployed or combat environment. There was so much going on and we were all on high alert; it was thrilling honestly.”

As the U.S. Air Force continues to adopt the ideology of accelerating change and influencing the necessity of multi-capable Airmen, the 4th FW continues to pioneer the way as a designated lead wing.