31st FW conducts ACE integration at Amendola AB

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  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons and Airmen assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy, participated in an Agile Combat Employment exercise Feb. 16 -17, 2021, alongside Italian air force partners at Amendola Air Base, Italy.

The integration exercise was designed to ensure U.S. Air Forces in Europe, along with allies and partners, are ready for potential short or no-notice contingencies by allowing forces to operate from locations with varying levels of capacity and support.

During the exercise the 555th Fighter Squadron and 510th FS executed defensive and offensive counter air training with Italian air force F-35 Lightning II’s from the 32° Stormo, Eurofighter Typhoons from 36° Stormo and G550 aircraft from 14° Stormo. The 32° Stormo is the first air unit in Europe to acquire the F-35 aircraft.

“The training we had during these two days was remarkable being the first full fighter integration with Aviano F-16s,” said Lt. Col. Giuseppe A., Italian Air Force F-35 pilot. “We extensively planned and flew a 4th and 5th-generation fighter integration mission against higher-tier air and surface threats and all objectives were met. The integration was outstanding and contributed significantly to our training for any future operations we may be called to fly together. It’s the first fighter integration, but based on the great outcome, I see more of them on the horizon.”

These large force exercises provide aircrew and support personnel the experience needed to maintain a ready force. By integrating multiple aircraft, aircrew are able to train for different objectives, which is critical to ensuring the collective defense of the NATO alliance.

“The Amendola Integration Agile Combat Employment event increases our lethality and enhances interoperability with our NATO partner nations,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Eric Broyles, 31st Operations Group of international relations. "The 31st FW operational readiness and ability to support allies and partners and integrate with speed is critical to combined success.”

The complexity of the European continent makes operating with allies and partners throughout Europe an imperative. Our commitment to the security and territorial integrity of our allies and partners is resolute.