693rd ISS Airmen implement ACE in Operation EASY MAC

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jared Lovett
  • 86 AWPA

The 693rd Intelligence Support Squadron executed Operation EASY MAC Sept. 19-21, 2023, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. 

This exercise showcased the ability of the 693rd ISS to provide intelligence analysts with deployable communications capabilities over a three-day, cross-organization exercise.

“With the support of the 1st Air and Space Communications Operations Squadron and the 1st Combat Communications Squadron, this event showcased the 693rd Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Group’s ability to deploy intelligence capabilities in an austere environment,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Kyle Hawn, 693rd ISS special missions flight commander. “By combining the 693rd ISRG’s operations and requirements with the capabilities of the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing, this exercise was the perfect venue to shape future requirements for various units across United States Air Forces in Europe, Air Forces Africa, and Air Combat Command.”

Day one of the exercise began with the initial setup of a Mobile Intelligence Continuity of Operations (COOP) site, which consists of a temporary, sensitive, compartmentalized information facility (T-SCIF) and intelligence gathering equipment that was provided by the 1st ACOS.

Ten units from across USAFE and ACC worked together to assemble the COOP site.

“The COOP site enables Airmen in intelligence career fields to perform their duties using Agile Combat Employment (ACE),” Hawn said. “This displays the vision that the 16th Air Force has for cyber Airmen being used in an operational capacity combined with intelligence Airmen having agile capabilities.”

According to Air Force Doctrine, ACE is a proactive and reactive operational scheme of maneuver executed within threat timelines to increase survivability while generating combat power. 

Airmen implemented ACE by building a T-SCIF where they  accomplished their duties of data collection in a simulated, challenging environment.

“The Airmen were put through various scenarios to challenge their ability to operate under difficult circumstances,” said Staff Sgt. Carl Jackson, 693rd ISS noncommissioned officer in charge of the cyber mission assurance team. “This training is vital to having Airmen that are always ready to accomplish the mission despite the operational environment.”

This exercise not only refines Airmen’s current skill sets, but it also provides insight on what the 693rd ISS can improve to ensure the success of missions to come, Hawn said.

“Without the great efforts made by the 435th AGOW and the 693rd ISRG, Operation EASY MAC would not have been the success that it was,” added Capt. Briana Grant, 1st ACOS operations flight commander. 

The mission of the 693rd Intelligence Support Squadron is to innovate, progress, sustain and maintain information systems and technology assets for Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.