Ready Tiger 24-1: MCA enables combat airpower at CL Perry-Houston

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Rachel Coates
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

To reduce military presence in a theater of operations, small teams of Air Force specialists establish expeditionary air bases at dispersed locations. The MCA concept plays a key role, requiring Airmen to take on additional responsibilities beyond their usual duties, enabling a smaller footprint.

Team Moody exercised Multi-Capable Airmen (MCA) concepts during Exercise Ready Tiger 24-1 with Airmen forward deployed to a simulated contingency location (CL) located at Perry Houston County Airport, Georgia, April 10 - 19, 2024.

At the CL, a group of 24 service members from diverse units, including the 23rd Maintenance Group, 23rd Mission Support Group and 23rd Operations Support Squadron, united their efforts to fortify perimeter defense and establish flightline operations.

“We have several Airmen here pulling security alongside our defenders in support of refueling operations at the CL,” said Master Sgt. David Peters, 74th Fighter Generation Squadron first sergeant and Contingency Location commander. “They’re able to secure the flightline while our (A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft) are being refueled and regenerated for the exercise.”

The function of a CL is to have a moveable pit stop for aircraft to land and regenerate quickly. Multi-capable Airmen provide a flexible and agile solution to generating combat airpower, anytime and anywhere.

“The biggest change we’ve seen over the past couple of years is that we’re no longer going to these large bases where all the security is already set up,” Peters said. “When we’re out here, we’re all we have. Everyone fights – no one quits.”

Ready Tiger 24-1 sets the stage for testing the MCA concept and encourages Airmen to adapt to their situation, making them more lethal and ready. They play a critical role in getting aircraft off the ground safely.

“Anyone can pick up a weapon, but understanding how and when to use it is the important piece,” said Staff Sgt. Malenie Johnson, 23rd Security Forces unit trainer. “Without security in these environments, it makes it impossible for maintainers to accomplish their mission and get jets up in the air again with everything they need.”

This adaptability ensures not only the seamless continuation of tasks, but also the reinforcement of security measures when the need arises.

“If someone were to go down, I could comfortably pick up the slack where it’s needed, and the same goes for security forces if they need the extra help,” Johnson said. “We can depend on the people who aren’t defenders to pick up a weapon and secure a 360-degree perimeter.”

With several A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft conducting touch-and-go’s over the span of a few days at the CL Perry-Houston, the concepts of MCA proved advantageous for future real-world missions.

“I think all the Airmen here have been doing a phenomenal job,” Johnson said. “We have ammo, weapons, and communications troops pulling security, and they’re doing it flawlessly.”

MCA's pivotal role in Exercise Ready Tiger 24-1 at CL Perry Houston underscores their critical contribution to establishing agile expeditionary air bases, enhancing combat readiness and effectiveness in remote locations.