Airmen, Soldiers deal cards in Exercise Wild Card Straight

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jonathan Bass
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Exercise Wild Card Straight on Rhine Ordnance Barracks, Germany, tested and showcased joint partners’ ability to synch capabilities to support an end goal.

The exercise, which occurred Nov. 13-22, featured the 1st Air and Space Communications Operations Squadron and the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade (Theater).

Wild Card Straight was a preparatory event for the 66th MIB(T) and 1st ACOS to ensure their teams and systems are ready for Juniper Cobra 20.

During JC20 U.S. forces partner with Israeli Defense Forces, practicing the U.S. Armed Force’s role in supporting Israel during a ballistic missile threat.

Together, the 1st ACOS and 66th MIB(T) combine to provide communication support for intelligence assets supporting Joint Task Force-Israel.

“This exercise was the first joint Army and Air Force communications and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance exercise between the 1st ACOS and 66th MIB(T) in two years,” Capt. Robert Alleman, 1st ACOS flight commander said.

The 1st ACOS’ entire squadron exercised their ability to deploy its Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System.

The JWICS is the only one of its kind in the Air Force.

“U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa recognized the need for a deployable JWICS capability to support its operations and took the time and effort to establish [one] capable of meeting the requirement,” Alleman said. “The 1st ACOS has multiple successful deployments of the capability, enabling agile intelligence support to the warfighter on the front line.”

From the moment deployment order is issued, the squadron has 72 hours to get their JWICS team packed, out the door and onto theater soil. Then the team has another 72 hours to unpack, connect equipment and establish communications capabilities.

USAFE-AFAFRICA established the 144-hour timeline requirement.

“Any fight is driven by intelligence, and the defense of Israel is no exception,” Alleman said. “In fact, the service provided by 1st ACOS and 66th MIB(T) is what allows intelligence support from subject matter experts across the globe to feed into the JTF-I commander’s decision making process, augmenting his capability to execute the fight.”

To practice this standard to the best of the its ability, the 1st ACOS issued a personnel recall on Day Two of Wild Card Straight, ensuring all their team members would be present. They spent the next three days packing the necessary equipment before mobilizing to ROB. From that point, they worked with the 66th MIB(T) to establish communications and ISR capabilities.

“The 66th MIB(T) exercised its ability to establish secure communications and used the event as an opportunity for its analysts to focus on developing their understanding of the Levant region," Alleman said. “The joint nature of the exercise reflects how the two units will be working together during JC20.”

JC20 will be the tenth iteration of the exercise, and is held every other year.