By Air University Public Affairs , Air University
/ Published December 14, 2021
To address the challenges of projecting combat power across the globe with a significantly reduced global footprint, increased risk from adversarial technological advances, and fiscal and political constraints, the Air Force has introduced Agile Combat Employment: a proactive and reactive operational scheme of maneuver executed within threat timelines to increase survivability while generating combat power throughout the integrated deterrence continuum. More information on the doctrine note can be found here: https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/News/Display/Article/2873496/csaf-signs-agile-combat-employment-doctrine-note/.
(U.S. Air Force video by Billy Blankenship)
Air Force Chief of Staff General CQ Brown, Jr., signed the service’s first doctrine publication on Agile Combat Employment Dec. 9, codifying a proactive and reactive operational scheme of maneuver to increase survivability while generating combat power throughout the integrated deterrence continuum.
Working with experts across the service, the LeMay Center developed Air Force Doctrine Note 1-21, Agile Combat Employment, to serve as the foundation of ACE operational doctrine. AFDN 1-21 provides guidance for Airmen to rapidly innovate and generate discussion across the force to develop new best practices.
Link to AFDN 1-21, ACE, can be found here AFDN 1-21, Agile Combat Employment
“Rapid development of guidance is essential to accelerating change for our service and our Joint teammates” said Maj. Gen. William Holt, LeMay Center commander. “This doctrine note represents another milestone in our ability to develop and leverage emerging doctrine.”
AFDN 1-21 will complicate and create dilemmas in an adversary targeting process while creating flexibility for friendly forces to achieve operational advantage. To deter and win, the core elements of ACE are Posture, Command & Control, Movement and Maneuver, Protection, and Sustainment.
“Future conflict will never look like wars of the past, and that is why we have to get after building multi-capable, strategically-minded Airmen today, so they can compete, deter, and win tomorrow,” Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass said. “AFDN 1-21 presents, in doctrine, expeditionary and multi-capable Airmen capable of accomplishing tasks outside of their core Air Force specialty to provide combat support and combat service support to ACE force elements.
Our adversaries around the globe have increasing capabilities to hold our Main Operating Bases at risk. Peer adversaries have achieved rapid technological advancement in small-unmanned aircraft systems as well as cruise, ballistic, and hypersonic missiles. This, combined with a reduction of overseas operating locations, means the Air Force can no longer consider MOBs as sanctuaries from attack. The Air Force must adapt to this new paradigm to maintain a combat effective force. Airmen should expect to conduct operations at a speed, scope, complexity, and scale exceeding recent campaigns from distributed locations.
“Over the last year, we have reaped several benefits by taking this same doctrine development approach with the Air Force’s role in Joint All-Domain Operations resulting in AFDP 3-99,” said Lt Col Richard Major, Air Force Doctrine Development director. “I expect we will see the same for ACE as our Airmen use the doctrine note as a point of reference to help build new best practices we can then integrate into current doctrine and use to inform future doctrine.”
The LeMay Center serves as CSAF’s principal agent for doctrine, lessons learned, and provides Air Force input to Joint doctrine. The center also assists in the development of concepts and strategy. For any matters dealing with doctrine, Air Force organizations coordinate directly with the LeMay Center.
If you have feedback on doctrine, or are interested in participating in future ACE doctrine development events, please submit your information and relevant subject matter expertise to the doctrine to email@example.com.