Mosaic Tiger proves Joint Concepts

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Deanna Muir
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

A future fight with a peer adversary is going to require both sides of the conflict to use everything in their military arsenal to win.

That includes cyber warfare; information operations; kinetic destruction; restriction of movement; control of air, land or sea pathways … the list goes on and on of the exponential growth of modern war.

Conflicts of that magnitude and complexity take more than just what the Air Force can offer and requires highly skilled warriors who are able to easily join operations with fellow service members, whether they’re Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines or Guardians.

With this in mind, Moody leadership is using exercise Mosaic Tiger 24-1 to drive Airmen to embrace joint doctrine and apply those concepts into daily operations. This, in turn, will make them invaluable when the time comes to deploy in a joint-task force where the unique abilities of each branch are essential for mission success.

“Jointness requires integrating the effects of each domain and service to multiply the effectiveness of missions, resulting in the end state being greater than the sum of its parts,” said Maj. John McGowan, 23rd Wing A-Staff Director of Operations. “The pacing threat of near-peer adversaries has forced the Air Force to approach combat in a different manner than we have for the last 30 years.”

For instance, Mosaic Tiger 24-1 was designed to demonstrate the importance of performing command and control of dispersed forces who are conducting agile combat employment. In a real-world environment, these multi-capable Airmen would be working alongside sister services to create a whole-of-defense effort that denies an enemy’s ability to decide and act.

It's a big concept that can oftentimes be lost on new recruits or junior Airmen, especially since it takes a few years to build expertise and confidence in one’s own skillset let alone understanding others’.

“The exercise is forcing Airmen across the base to perform their expertise with a group of people they don’t typically work with,” said Master Sgt. Isaac Meese, 23rd Wing A-Staff senior enlisted leader. “This creates a challenging situation because communication and priorities are different from one career to another, and Airmen have to learn to navigate those barriers.”

Another barrier to overcome is fully understanding the mindset of agile combat employment. It’s a concept that enables rapid deployment of forces that move to and from those dispersed locations, but with that, Airmen must be flexible and trained to help in areas outside their expertise. Each person must be willing to do what is necessary to get the job done since the whole concept focuses on having a smaller footprint of Airmen at austere locations.

“The dispersal of forces will complicate an adversary’s ability to threaten our combat capabilities,” McGowan said about how large-scale static bases provide an easy target. “In doing so, the units must utilize multi-capable Airmen to accomplish the mission with much less manpower than traditionally used.”

That shrinking of manpower also affects more than just what’s on the ground at a contingency location – there is a lean group of planners and staffers at a main operating base who must support the service members at the tip of the spear. This group, called an expeditionary Air Staff, has to fully embrace joint doctrine as well, since future fights will operate using joint planning processes.

“Having the ability to take roughly 500 people from multiple bases and geographically separate them by thousands of miles, task them with different mission sets not only showcases our ability to rapidly acclimate to a complex, kinetic environment but also highlights our ability to work as a collaborative unit to accomplish the mission,” Meese said about unit cohesion and the rigid planning that made Mosaic Tiger 24-1 a reality.

The exercise has been going on for a week and is helping Airmen throughout the wing understand that adaptability is key and working as a joint force is vital to mission success.

“The skills we employ here are only a piece of the Joint All Domain Operations puzzle,” Meese said. “For the concept to work, all the players must run their assignments correctly. As a lead wing, it is our responsibility to project air power anytime, anywhere.”