54th ARS teams up with 33rd FW for AGILE JESTER

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Trenton Jancze
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

The 54th Air Refueling Squadron teamed up with Airmen from the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, to complete the air refueling training mission called AGILE JESTER, Jan. 31-Feb. 4, 2022.

“The Air Force is pushing an agile combat employment (ACE) initiative,” said Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Rogers, 54th ARS boom operator. “With different threats around the world, it’s important to be a more agile and adaptive fighting force to be able to meet those challenges.”

Throughout the exercise, multiple KC-135 Stratotankers from Altus AFB refueled F-35 Lightning IIs, C-17 Globemaster IIIs and AC-130U Spookies, both during the day and at night.

AGILE JESTER is an opportunity for both pilot and boom operator students to continue their usual training, but also instill the ACE concepts. 

“The goal of coming down to Eglin is to instill the concepts of ACE in the future tanker crew force,” said Maj. Benjamin Hurlburt, 54th ARS assistant director of operations. “This training gives us the ability to take a tanker somewhere and be able to operate independently, off of mission orders, and for the students to get exposed to that.”

Rogers added how important it is to incorporate ACE concepts with the student training mission.

“By doing the same thing over and over again, you can get complacent and start ignoring important details,” said Rogers. “However, with these missions, we’re learning new skills and being forced to adapt to different scenarios. We’re broadening our expertise so we can be more whole concept Airmen.”

Missions like AGILE JESTER are one of many that help execute the 97 AMW vision of forging the world’s most inspired, proficient and adaptive mobility warriors.