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31 FW RAGE exercise showcases ACE capabilities

31 FW RAGE exercise showcases ACE capabilities

Tech Sgt. Alec Lamarca, 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew chief, prepares to load an inert munition onto an F-16 Fighting Falcon during the Integrated Combat Turnaround (ICT) portion of a Rapid Aircraft Generation and Employment (RAGE) exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy, April 1, 2021. During the ICT, Airmen worked together to load munitions while simultaneously refueling the aircraft, all while the engine was running. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

31 FW RAGE exercise showcases ACE capabilities

Tech. Sgt. Alec Lamarca, 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew chief, left, and Senior Airman Trevai Davenport, 31st AMXS weapons load crew member, load an inert munition onto an F-16 Fighting Falcon during the Integrated Combat Turnaround (ICT) portion of a Rapid Aircraft Generation and Employment (RAGE) exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy, April 1, 2021. During the ICT, Airmen worked together to load munitions and simultaneously refuel the aircraft, all while the engine was running. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

31 FW RAGE exercise showcases ACE capabilities

Senior Airman Antonio Belmar, 555th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew member, transports an inert munition to an F-16 Fighting Falcon during a Rapid Aircraft Generation and Employment (RAGE) exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy, April 1, 2021. RAGE exercises showcase Aviano’s lethal combat capabilities and prove Agile Combat Employment (ACE) effectiveness through demonstrations and competitions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

31 FW RAGE exercise showcases ACE capabilities

Airmen assigned to the 510th Aircraft Maintenance Unit load an inert munition onto an F-16 Fighting Falcon during the Integrated Combat Turnaround (ICT) portion of a Rapid Aircraft Generation and Employment (RAGE) exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy, April 1, 2021. During an ICT, aircrew members simulate returning from a combat mission and employ rapid reload of expended munitions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

31 FW RAGE exercise showcases ACE capabilities

A 31st Munitions Squadron Airman picks up a tool during the inert Bomb Build competition portion of a Rapid Aircraft Generation and Employment (RAGE) exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy, April 1, 2021. This RAGE exercise held three competitions in which each team was evaluated on technical proficiency, safety procedures and overall time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

31 FW RAGE exercise showcases ACE capabilities

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brent Gibson, 31st Munitions Squadron armament technician, builds an inert guided bomb unit-31v3 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) during an inert Bomb Build competition at Aviano Air Base, Italy, April 1, 2021. The inert Bomb Build competition was held during a Rapid Aircraft Generation and Employment (RAGE) exercise, along with two other competitions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

31 FW RAGE exercise showcases ACE capabilities

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jordan Francis, 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron HH-60 Pave Hawk armament maintenance member, prepares to assemble a .50-caliber gun system on an HH-60 during a Rapid Aircraft Generation and Employment (RAGE) exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy, April 1, 2021. RAGE exercises feature demonstrations and competitions that display the base’s ability to communicate, coordinate, and execute wartime operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

31 FW RAGE exercise showcases ACE capabilities

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jordan Francis, 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron HH-60 Pave Hawk armament maintenance member, left, and Airman 1st Class Dajea Harrison, 31st AMXS weapons load crew member, right, assemble a .50-caliber gun system on an HH-60 during a Rapid Aircraft Generation and Employment (RAGE) exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy, April 1, 2021. RAGE exercises RAGE exercises feature demonstrations and competitions operations on two F-16 Fighting Falcons to showcase the base’s Agile Combat Employment (ACE) effectiveness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

31 FW RAGE exercise showcases ACE capabilities

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 31st Munitions Squadron pose for a photo at Aviano Air Base, Italy, April 1, 2021. The “Divine Bombardment” team won first place in the inert Bomb Build competition during a Rapid Aircraft Generation and Employment (RAGE) exercise. The team built a guided bomb unit-31v3 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) in the least amount of time with the highest accuracy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy --

The 31st Maintenance Group held an Integrated Combat Turnaround (ICT) Rapid Aircraft Generation Employment (RAGE) exercise April 1, 2021, to showcase the base’s lethal combat capabilities and proven Agile Combat Employment (ACE) effectiveness.

“Every squadron and organization had hands in this exercise,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Jason Mitchell, 31st MXG commander. “This exercise ties directly to ACE, the concept the whole command is getting after, and Aviano is at the forefront of that.”

This exercise was jam packed with demonstrations and competitions that displayed Aviano’s ability to communicate, coordinate, and execute wartime operations.  

This RAGE exercise included an inert Bomb Build competition, timed ICT operations on two F-16 Fighting Falcons and the assembly of .50-caliber gun systems on an HH-60 Pave Hawk.

“During an ICT, aircrew members simulate returning from a combat mission, and employ rapid reload of expended munitions,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Masaud Wahedi, 31st MXG weapons standardization team chief.

Airmen from the 555th and 510th Aircraft Maintenance Units worked together to load munitions and simultaneously refuel the aircraft, all while the engine was still running. The objective is to make the aircraft combat-ready as quickly as possible.

During these events, instructors evaluated the teams on technical proficiency, safety procedures and overall time. Only one team from each competition came out on top.

The inert Bomb Build champions included six members who finished building a guided bomb unit-31v3 Joint Direct Attack Munition.

A team of five members assigned to the 555th AMU participated in the ICT competition and won with a time of 24 minutes and 22 seconds. Victors who built gun systems on the HH-60 with a time of 8 minutes and 48 seconds hailed from the 56th Helicopter Maintenance Unit.

Numerous squadrons across Aviano collaborated to make this RAGE exercise run smoothly, to include the 731st Munitions Squadron at Camp Darby, Italy, who provided and loaded munitions during the exercise.

“We had a multitude of moving parts and the support of various agencies to ensure the exercise was successful,” said Wahedi. “The planning process began 10 weeks out. It involved countless individuals to prepare, coordinate and develop this exercise.”

This RAGE exercise is conducted quarterly, and the men and women of the 31st MXG have taken the initiative and implemented their vision into daily operations, said Wahedi.

“Aviano’s mission is quite unique compared to other fighter wings,” said Wahedi. “Throughout our history we have proven [our ability] to remain agile and answer our nation’s call, whether that be executing missions from home or abroad.”