AFCOMAC Implements ACE in New Curriculum; Assembles Air Force’s Newest Munition

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Samuel Burns
  • 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

In the modern world of military tactics, technology and relations, Agile Combat Employment (ACE) is the key to maintaining a lead over near-peer adversaries. Air Force Combat Ammunition Center (AFCOMAC) existed since 1986 and continues to develop in the face of Great Power Competition (GPC).

On March 4, 2024, AFCOMAC class 24-004 was the first to experience the new curriculum that was established to modernize the training of munitions troops Air Force-wide. This course overhaul meets updated combatant command and operation plan requirements.

“The curriculum is reviewed and modified every year with the input from every Major Command’s munition functional manager,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Christopher Parmer, 9th Munitions Squadron director of operations. “The adjustments assist in preparing the ammo troops for the next conflict utilizing techniques, tactics, and procedures taught at AFCOMAC.”

This class was the first to be tasked with assembling Guided Bomb Unit (GBU)-56 bombs, the Air Force’s newest munition. The GBU-56 Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) adds more flexibility to the Air Force’s arsenal alongside the adverse weather Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System guided JDAM.

Air cargo palletization builds were also added to the course to enhance ACE operations. This addition provided ammo troops experience which could be vital when shipping assets are required.

While enduring the new course additions, AFCOMAC class 24-004 displayed excellence as they met each Fragmentation Order (FRAG) requirement, becoming only the third class with that accomplishment in the last 13 years. They also maintained a 96.5% build accuracy rate with no duds. That accuracy rate was the highest rate ever recorded in the history of the AFCOMAC schoolhouse.

“The success of this class serves as a testament to the preparation and readiness of our force in defense of our nation as we look toward the next conflict,” said Parmer. “Our motto, ‘To keep the peace, prepare for war’, underscores the importance of readiness and capability as a deterrent for conflict."

AFCOMAC's Combat Ammunition Planning and Production course includes high intensity training, both in the classroom and hands-on, that is constantly evolving based on real world combatant command and operation plan requirements. This is an intensive three-week program involving 70-80 personnel ranging from staff sergeant to captain.

Integrating new capabilities and experiences into an ever-evolving curriculum reflects the ever-evolving nature of the world and conflict. Employing munitions troops with cutting edge training and skills ensures the technical proficiency needed to support an Air War in dynamic environments, readying the Total Force for the challenges of any potential future conflict, and bolstering our nation's war-fighting capability.

The 9th Munitions Squadron at Beale AFB manages the AFCOMAC training program. This Air Force-level course was developed to provide the Air Force munitions community with advanced training in mass combat ammunitions planning and production techniques. It uses a combination of in-depth classroom instruction combined with a four-day intensive practical exercise using live munitions in a realistic bare-base scenario.

*This article was edited to include the specific course within AFCOMAC that was updated and provide more details on the AFCOMAC program.