Speed matters: Dannelly Field conducts rapid mobility training

A crew chief from the 187th Fighter Wing works on an F-16C+ Fighting Falcon as part of a rapid deployment exercise in Dothan, Ala., March 3, 2021. D

A crew chief from the 187th Fighter Wing works on an F-16C+ as part of a rapid deployment exercise in Dothan, Ala., March 3, 2021. During this training exercise, Dannelly Field airmen were transported to Dothan where they set up the infrastructure necessary to support and secure F-16 operations. The exercise was a training opportunity to develop methods to rapidly deploy to and operate from austere locations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by: Jim Bentley)

A crew chief with the 187th Fighter Wing works on an F-16 as part of a rapid deployment exercise in Dothan, Ala., March 3, 2021.

A crew chief with the 187th Fighter Wing works on an F-16 as part of a rapid deployment exercise in Dothan, Ala., March 3, 2021. Airmen and aircraft from Dannelly Field participated in a training exercise to develop effective methods to rapidly deploy to and operate from austere locations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by: Jim Bentley)

Senior Airman Brandon Williams, 187th Fighter Wing crew chief, selects tools from a pelican case in preparation to receive an F-16 in Dothan, Ala., March 3, 2021.

Senior Airman Brandon Williams, 187th Fighter Wing crew chief, selects tools from a pelican case in preparation to receive an F-16 in Dothan, Ala., March 3, 2021. Airmen and aircraft from Dannelly Field participated in a training exercise that tested their ability to rapidly deploy to a simulated austere location. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by: Jim Bentley)

A C-17 Globemaster carries airmen and equipment from the 187th Fighter Wing to Dothan, Ala., March 1, 2021.

A C-17 Globemaster carries airmen and equipment from the 187th Fighter Wing to Dothan, Ala., March 1, 2021.Airmen and aircraft from the 187th Fighter Wing at Dannelly Field participated in a rapid deployment training exercise March 2-3, 2021, to develop effective methods to deploy to and operate from austere locations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by: Jim Bentley)

Two airmen from the 187th Fighter Wing prepare to disembark a C-17 Globemaster as part of a rapid deployment exercise in Dothan, Ala., March 1, 2021.

Two airmen from the 187th Fighter Wing prepare to disembark a C-17 Globemaster as part of a rapid deployment exercise in Dothan, Ala., March 1, 2021. Airmen and aircraft from Dannelly Field participated in a training exercise to develop effective methods to rapidly deploy to and operate from austere environments. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by: Jim Bentley)

Airmen from the 187th Fighter Wing prepare to disembark from a C-17 Globemaster as part of a rapid deployment exercise in Dothan, Ala., March 1, 2021.

Airmen from the 187th Fighter Wing prepare to disembark from a C-17 Globemaster as part of a rapid deployment exercise in Dothan, Ala., March 1, 2021. Airmen and aircraft from Dannelly Field were deployed as part of a training exercise to develop and prove methods to effectively deploy to austere locations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by: Jim Bentley)

DANNELLY FIELD, Ala. --

Airmen from the 187th Fighter Wing took part in a rapid deployment training exercise, March 2nd-4th, 2021, in Dothan, Ala.


During the training event, airmen were forward deployed to a Dothan airfield where, upon arriving, they prepped the grounds to receive and re-launch six F-16 Fighting Falcons. 


“The Chief of Staff of the Air Force has emphasized that we need to get to know how our competitors think about war and adapt to their methodology,” said Col. Ed Casey, the 187th Fighter Wing’s commander. “The days of forward-deploying to facilities that were specially constructed to support our mission are behind us, and that is driven by the way our competitors are posturing.”


The Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., said great power competitors like China and Russia have made increasingly aggressive efforts to challenge U.S. advantages that were previously uncontested. Brown challenged airmen at all levels to think about how the nation’s adversaries are conducting war, and to adapt the service’s methods to those of our competitors.


“What we really wanted to get out of this exercise was a change in mindset,” said Lt. Col. Brandon Baughman, 187th FW chief of plans. “We need our Red Tail airmen to disrupt the way we have thought about going to war the past few decades, and develop how we will go to war in the future.”


The wing is focused on empowering airmen at all levels to develop the tactics and techniques that they will use to rapidly mobilize in what the service is naming “agile combat employment,” or ACE. Baughman said the concept is nothing new to the Air Force, in fact, it’s the way the Tuskegee Airmen, the wing’s predecessors, thought about and engaged in war.