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Air Mobility Force Train Agile Combat Employment Skills

The Air Mobility Force, based at RAF Brize Norton, have been honing Agile Combat Employment skills on Exercise Venture Spirit.

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Agile Combat Employment (ACE) represents a significant shift in the conduct of operations, whereby aircraft launch, recover, and are maintained from a variety of operating locations, while working with allies and partners.

Photo - Personnel working within the Atlas aircraft, preparing to unload a vehicle and trailer.

38 Expeditionary Air Wing (38 EAW) is an Air Mobility specialist unit formed of personnel from RAF Brize Norton and RAF Northolt, who hold very high readiness to deploy globally. They provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief or support evacuations. Their role is to work with host nations and the UK’s Joint Task Force to enable Air Mobility operations.

Photo - Personnel working on and adjacent to the ramp of the Atlas after within the Atlas aircraft, after the off-load a vehicle and trailer.

During the exercise, 38 EAW have demonstrated the capability to deploy with only a handful of personnel to set-up an Air Headquarters in an unfamiliar location working alongside 16 Air Assault Brigade, 1 Air Mobility Wing and Tactical Medical Wing, to maintain essential skills working closely together to achieve one goal. For some personnel, Venture Spirit has been their first involvement with 38 EAW. For others, it has provided an opportunity for them to step up into leadership roles within the Headquarters.

Photo - Personnel queue for a meal from a tented field kitchen, erected within a hardened shelter.

Officer Commanding XXIV Squadron, Wing Commander Gav Anderson said:

“All of us are returning to Brize or Northolt confident that, should we be tasked to deploy, we are ready, capable and up for the challenge. Having worked with the Army extensively during my 18 years of service, particularly 16 Air Assault Brigade, it is always rewarding to work with them in the field. With operational tempo as high as ever, it can be challenging to make personnel and aircraft available for exercises such as Venture Spirit. We are delighted that 16 Air Assault Brigade have been able to support us by representing the deployed Land Component. The end of our Air mission, such as the insertion of troops and equipment by airdrop or airland, is often only the start of the Land mission. By exercising together, our crews and support personnel are exposed to the challenges and rewards of Air Land Integration. Venture Spirit has been a more complete Agile Combat Employment Exercise through our collective participation.”

Wing Commander Gav Anderson
Officer Commanding XXIV Squadron

Photo - An Atlas aircraft on a wet runway, with plumes of spray in its wake

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