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NEWS | Jan. 14, 2022

Kingfish ACE exercise enhances JB Charleston strategic thinking

By Staff Sgt. Dawn M. Weber Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Units from the 628th Air Base Wing and 437th Airlift Wing participated in a three-day tabletop exercise to help joint base leadership understand how war games apply to real-world scenarios.

Kingfish Agile Combat Employment is a strategic war game designed by U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Troy Pierce, Headquarters Air Force airpower strategist, to allow players an opportunity to understand the logistical challenges of ACE in a massive and dynamic theater.

Pierce developed the ACE tabletop exercise after participating in war games while studying at the Marine Corps War College.

“In my mind war games were computer based learning,” he said. “But what they brought out were these tabletop games, and at first look I was overwhelmed with the details. I quickly learned how powerful this type of training could be with all the different perspectives of everyone participating.”

His experiences at the Marine Corps War College inspired him to build the Kingfish ACE tabletop exercise and bring it to an Air Force audience.

Team Charleston hosted Pierce and the war game Kingfish ACE. The role play and scenarios helped joint base Airmen enhance critical thinking capabilities.

“To accomplish ACE, it will require a more well-trained and educated force,” said U.S. Air Force Major Tyler Olson, 437th Aerial Port Squadron commander. “ACE is a large change to our military’s mindset to scheme and maneuver. Airmen of all ranks and different career fields came together to better understand the ACE concept, share their experiences and strategies. As we translate it to actual capabilities or executing it in real world operations, our joint base Airmen are better postured to support as critical thinkers.”

Kingfish ACE offers Airmen the chance to work together through different simulated political climates, natural disasters, limited resource availability and geographical challenges to achieve their various exercise objectives.

“The goal of any exercise is to build experience,” said Olson. “This war game allowed every participant to see all the factors of an operation that have to line up in order for it to be successful. Providing that bigger picture at all levels allows even the lowest ranking Airman to understand the importance of their role and the challenges of employing ACE.”