F-35A Pilots Soar in ACE Training at Ebbing Air National Guard Base Published Oct. 20, 2023 By MSgt Chauncey Reed 188th Wing Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Ark -- The 33rd Fighter Wing, along with the cutting-edge F-35A Lightning II, trained on Agile Combat Employment (ACE) tactics, techniques and procedures, at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, October 17, 2023. ACE is an operational concept adopted by the United States Air Force to enhance its ability to project airpower in a rapidly changing and contested environment. It represents a departure from traditional, static basing approaches, emphasizing the need for agility, adaptability, and resilience. The two-ship training event, held at Ebbing, focused on honing pilot skills. “ACE training emphasizes the ability to be flexible in a less than familiar environment such as Ebbing,” said Colonel Charles Chuck, the 33rd Operations Group commander. “Exercises like this give our F-35A pilots the opportunity to practice agility and adaptability necessary to defeat our adversaries.” The training was conducted in the Ebbing air space and Razorback Range, which is a Class A bombing range, in coordination with Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center. Upon entering the Razorback Range air space, the pilots swiftly maneuvered through the skies, employing advanced tactics like simulated strafing passes exercising air to ground employment of the F-35A’s 25mm cannon. “Tactical employment is a critical skill for all military combat aircraft,” said Major Jonathan Linn, Razorback Range commander. “The 184-square nautical miles of restricted airspace coupled with Razorback Range creates an exceptional training environment to perform necessary flight maneuvers for critical training.” Once training was complete, the pilots landed at Ebbing to refuel the aircrafts. As part of the ACE concept, the pilots refueled the aircraft themselves. This aspect enhances agility in austere environments, ensuring seamless execution of high-stakes missions. This ACE training demonstrated the U.S Air Force’s commitment to building the skills and mindset for the future of air combat, where flexibility, interoperability, and readiness take center stage.