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NEWS | April 16, 2024

‘Can Do’ wing advances airborne mobility mission management effectiveness

By 2nd Lt. Alexis Kula Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs

In a groundbreaking demonstration of cutting-edge capabilities, the 305th Air Mobility Wing recently conducted the first-ever locally hosted training exercise showcasing advanced airborne mobility mission management at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, March 14-15. Dubbed the "Platform Agnostic Command and Control initiative," this exercise marked a significant leap forward in Air Mobility Command's ability to deliver precision effects swiftly and effectively.

The exercise focused on testing and validating the PACC concept, leveraging connectivity capabilities of select airframes to provide non-traditional C2 opportunities for air component commanders. PACC harnesses battlespace integration to offer C2 capabilities on Mobility Air Force aircraft, such as the KC-46 Pegasus in contingency situations.

"The significance of this event cannot be overstated," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Dylan Moore, 32nd Air Refueling Squadron KC-46 Aircraft commander, "As it showcases AMC’s freedom of maneuver within contested battlespaces.”

The 305th AMW has demonstrated the feasibility of conducting command and control on a KC-46 for the intra-theater control of other mobility assets, which is a first for AMC.

During the exercise, aircraft executed two local sorties accompanied by an Air Battle Manager and Mission Systems Operator from the 513th Air Control Group. These sorties marked the first use of the PACC capability on tactical-level training missions and the inaugural integration of AMC airlift assets. The exercise involved collaboration from multiple local entities, including the 32nd ARS, 2nd Air Refueling Squadron, 6th Airlift Squadron, 305th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 305th Aerial Port Squadron and the 605th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. The 305th Operations Support Squadron also played a crucial role in developing the scenario for the training missions, showcasing in-depth intelligence analysis and tactics preparation integral to the success of the exercise.

"Our OSS team went above and beyond preparing for these missions," said Lt. Col. Andrew Putnam, 305th OSS commander. "Their extensive intelligence briefs and tactical scenario development ensured our aircrews received useful training for the complexities presented by capable adversaries."

Crews from the 513th ACG and 134th Air Control Squadron, both of which are vital Total Force Integration partners, played essential roles in making this exercise possible. Their expertise and collaboration proved instrumental to the assimilation of key systems and ensuring the seamless execution of the training missions.

The training scenarios were meticulously crafted to expose aircrews to real-world contingencies, forcing them to react to "pop-up" threats and real-time callouts from ABMs. Through rigorous coordination and adaptation, crews successfully navigated complex tactical situations, maximizing tactical effectiveness while complying with airspace regulations and weather restrictions.

"This exercise signifies the importance of innovation and collaboration within AMC," said Maj. Andrew Quallio, 305th OSS wing tactics chief. “By embracing initiatives like PACC, we ensure that AMC remains at the forefront of global mobility operations, ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow."

Moving forward, AMC participants are encouraged to view PACC as a bridge to future systems, offering contingency C2 capabilities at minimal cost, which are intended to integrate within the larger framework of dedicated C2 assets. As the exercise concluded, the focus now shifts to incorporating lessons learned and further refining the PACC concept for future deployments.

In an era of evolving threats and constrained resources, AMC's commitment to innovation and adaptability shines through initiatives like PACC. The PACC exercise marks a significant milestone in AMC's mission to deliver the right effects at the right place, and at the right time.