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Kingfish ACE: Teaching Logistics From Tabletop to Flight Ops

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Spencer Kanar
  • 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Members of Team Kirtland are training members from eight bases across Air Force Global Strike Command to be instructors for the Kingfish Agile Combat Employment wargame during a training event held at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. At the end of the four day course instructors will be able to teach others how to play Kingfish ACE and start their own Kingfish ACE programs at their home installations.

Kingfish ACE is a strategy game with a strong emphasis on creativity and player freedom. The game centers around a hypothetical scenario set in the Western Pacific where players are tasked with employing forces to generate air power while overcoming the game’s various challenges and obstacles.

“Kingfish is an educational wargame to teach everybody in the Air Force about ACE concepts and the importance of being able to generate combat air power from austere locations,” said Capt. Melia Pulliam, Air Force Wargaming Institute wargaming director.

Kirtland was chosen to host the course because of the unique Kingfish program that was developed on the installation. The Kingfish program Kirtland developed was tailored to make the game accessible to all skill levels by creating separate difficulties of the game. In addition, the game’s mechanics have been expanded and made flexible to remain relevant to modern conflicts.

“What we’ve done is made the program more organic,” said Master Sgt. Jesse Bechtel, 377th Force Support Squadron development advisor. “We’ve started our own development program to train new cadres and we’ve created different variants of the game from beginner to advanced to make the game applicable to varying skill levels.”

Kingfish ACE continues to expand over time, with players and instructors contributing new concepts, ideas and ways Airmen from other career fields can contribute. During the four day course, participants learned how Kingfish instructors by playing numerous games and receiving detailed instruction about the game’s mechanics.

When asked about Kingfish ACE being used throughout Air Force Global Strike Command, and the possibility of Kingfish spreading to other major commands, Ray Guest, 90th Missile Wing Inspector General director of exercises and plans, spoke on his experience with Kingfish.

“Not every base has air operations, for instance we’re a missile wing. However, we face a lot of the same problems and by taking the lessons learned while playing Kingfish we can adapt them to fit our mission and I believe many units will benefit,” said Guest.

As Kingfish ACE continues to grow throughout the Air Force, Team Kirtland is proud to be a force of positive change in an ever changing Air Force and its Airmen.