HomeNewsArticle Display

Team Fairchild implements MCA, ACE capabilities at civilian airfield for the first time

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Patrick Forbes, 92nd Maintenance Squadron flying crew chief (right), teaches Staff Sgt. Bradley Cornett, 92nd Operation Support Squadron air traffic controller (middle), and Tech. Sgt. Brian Hunt, 92nd Security Forces Squadron flight chief (left), how to provide maintenance to a KC-135 Stratotanker as part of multi-capable Airmen concept training at the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, Dec. 7, 2021. MCA was originally developed under Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.’s, U.S. Air Force chief of staff, action orders “Accelerate Change or Lose,” something Fairchild is now implementing and practicing on a grand scale to strengthen and lengthen Airmen capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiaundra Miller)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Patrick Forbes, 92nd Maintenance Squadron flying crew chief (right), teaches Staff Sgt. Bradley Cornett, 92nd Operation Support Squadron air traffic controller (middle), and Tech. Sgt. Brian Hunt, 92nd Security Forces Squadron flight chief (left), how to provide maintenance to a KC-135 Stratotanker as part of multi-capable Airmen concept training at the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, Dec. 7, 2021. MCA was originally developed under Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.’s, U.S. Air Force chief of staff, action orders “Accelerate Change or Lose,” something Fairchild is now implementing and practicing on a grand scale to strengthen and lengthen Airmen capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiaundra Miller)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Christopher Smith, 92nd Logistics Readiness petroleum, oil, and lubricants technician, speaks with a member from Million Air Aviation Company, while performing hot-pit refueling on a KC-135 Stratotanker at the Grant County International airport in Moses Lake, Washington, Dec. 7, 2021. Building and strengthening joint partnerships with the local community is vital to future successes for the U.S. Air Force to compete and win in a peer-to-peer fight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiaundra Miller)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Christopher Smith, 92nd Logistics Readiness petroleum, oil, and lubricants technician, speaks with a member from Million Air Aviation Company, while performing hot-pit refueling on a KC-135 Stratotanker at the Grant County International airport in Moses Lake, Washington, Dec. 7, 2021. Building and strengthening joint partnerships with the local community is vital to future successes for the U.S. Air Force to compete and win in a peer-to-peer fight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiaundra Miller)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Patrick Forbes, 92nd Maintenance Squadron flying crew chief, pulls a fuel hose to a KC-135 Stratotanker before conducting hot-pit refueling at the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, Dec. 7, 2021. Team Fairchild was the first base in the Air Mobility Command to do hot-pit refueling at a civilian airfield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiaundra Miller)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Patrick Forbes, 92nd Maintenance Squadron flying crew chief, pulls a fuel hose to a KC-135 Stratotanker before conducting hot-pit refueling at the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, Dec. 7, 2021. Team Fairchild was the first base in the Air Mobility Command to do hot-pit refueling at a civilian airfield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiaundra Miller)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Cameron Harris, 92nd Operations Support Squadron crew communications technician and noncommissioned officer in charge, marshals a KC-135 Stratotanker at the Grant County International Airport flightline in Moses Lake, Washington, Dec. 7, 2021. Despite being a crew communications technician, Harris was capable of directing a KC-135 Stratotanker due to the skills he learned through multi-capable Airmen training concepts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiaundra Miller)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Cameron Harris, 92nd Operations Support Squadron crew communications technician and noncommissioned officer in charge, marshals a KC-135 Stratotanker at the Grant County International Airport flightline in Moses Lake, Washington, Dec. 7, 2021. Despite being a crew communications technician, Harris was capable of directing a KC-135 Stratotanker due to the skills he learned through multi-capable Airmen training concepts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiaundra Miller)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 92nd Maintenance Squadron, the 92nd Security Forces Squadron, and the 92nd Operations Support Squadron, measure the distance on a flightline for a potential parking spot for a KC-135 Stratotanker at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, Dec. 6, 2021. The Airmen were prepared to accomplish the primary mission of agile combat employment from a civilian airfield and adapt and prepare for an emergency diversion of four additional aircraft, including a KC-46 Pegasus, an aircraft most Airmen were not familiar with. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiaundra Miller)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 92nd Maintenance Squadron, the 92nd Security Forces Squadron, and the 92nd Operations Support Squadron, measure the distance on a flightline for a potential parking spot for a KC-135 Stratotanker at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, Dec. 6, 2021. The Airmen were prepared to accomplish the primary mission of agile combat employment from a civilian airfield and adapt and prepare for an emergency diversion of four additional aircraft, including a KC-46 Pegasus, an aircraft most Airmen were not familiar with. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiaundra Miller)

MOSES LAKE, Wash. --

Fairchild Airmen from 10 different career fields practiced multi-capable Airmen capabilities, hot-pit refueling, and agile combat employment at the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Dec. 6-7, 2021.

Team Fairchild was the first base in Air Mobility Command to implement hot-pit refueling, MCA, and ACE at a civilian airfield. Practicing these capabilities provides Airmen a variety of skillsets and trades outside of their career fields, improving and accelerating mission support in various locations and situations.

“The concept of MCA is based on training Airmen outside of their Air Force special codes, enabling them to cross-utilize their skills to support different missions and multiple big picture roles within the ACE construct,” said Staff Sgt. Sean Ellyson, 92nd Maintenance Squadron aerospace and ground equipment technician.

The intent behind MCA is to expand Airmen knowledge beyond their main AFSC to broaden their scope of understanding, enabling them to operate without the Airmen with the specific AFSC present.

“We’re not doing more with less; we’re building efficiencies within the system and we’re trying to build a lethal package to send down range to forward operating bases while still maintaining manning at a main operating base,” said Tech Sgt. James Shaffer, 92nd Operation Support Squadron boom operator and planner for integrating MCA.

The exercise specifically at the Moses Lake airport gave participants an understanding of their true capabilities to operate out of an unfamiliar location without the usual equipment available on installation.

“We’re simulating a remote environment where we don’t have the amenities of a fully-functioning Air Force base, so we’re having to make do with whatever we have,” Ellyson said. “We didn’t bring the equipment we usually bring on temporary duty assignments or deployments, so we have to coordinate with local agencies to get power equipment capabilities and anything we don’t have here to mitigate possible aircraft malfunctions.” 

MCA and ACE was originally developed under U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.’s,  action orders of “Accelerate Change or Lose,” a concept Fairchild leadership is focused on implementing and practicing on a grand scale.

“Fairchild is the lead wing when it comes to testing ACE, developing tactics, techniques, and procedures for the tanker community,” said Tech Sgt. James Shaffer, 92nd Operation Support Squadron boom operator and planner for integrating MCA. “We used a 13-person team to test what Airmen are capable of doing and how to further train at Fairchild for real-world scenarios.”

In addition to strengthening knowledge on abilities Airmen are not familiar with, practicing MCA, ACE, and hot-pit refueling at a civilian air station builds and strengthens community partnerships for future endeavors.

“Building these relationships with our community partners allows us to get better training instead of our crews operating and doing and seeing the same thing daily,” Shaffer said. “It gives us the opportunity to branch out to see and execute something unique and gives us a different approach to operate. Our community partners are key to doing that.”

Airmen expanding their knowledge on different AFSCs and how to accomplish operations out of a location other than home station ensures they are not only good enough today but are prepared for tomorrow’s fight.