20th Fighter Wing flies in ABMS field test
By Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez, 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 16, 2020
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Pilots from the 20th Fighter Wing recently participated in Advanced Battle Management System Onramp #2 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Aug. 31 – Sept. 3, 2020.
The ABMS exercises, known as “onramps” are joint exercises supporting combatant commands and are necessary to test and validate new ABMS products based on real-world performance with operational forces.
“To win the contested, high-end fight, we need to accelerate how we field critical technologies today,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown. “Rapid, iterative experimenting ultimately places relevant capability in warfighters’ hands faster. We cannot afford to slow our momentum on ABMS. Our warfighters and combatant commands must fight at internet speeds to win.”
ABMS is the Department of the Air Force’s contribution to Joint All Domain Command and Control. Allowing a joint force to use cutting-edge methods and technologies to rapidly collect, analyze, and share information and make decisions in real time.
This was the first appearance for 20th FW F-16 Vipers, which played an integral part in the testing process.
“We were there to validate agile combat capabilities,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Alexander Trembley, 55th Fighter Squadron F-16 Viper pilot. “The big thing they wanted to test with us was transmitting condensed data via Link 16.”
Link 16 is a tactical data link used by multiple platforms in the Air Force including the F-16 Viper. This allows for the streamlining and compiling of data out to the necessary jets in contested environments across multiple platforms and systems.
“As a Pilot, you have less data to process,” said Trembley. “It’s advantageous because you’re receiving the information pertinent to you.”
Trembley said their part in the exercise was successful and would likely lead to future appearances. The onramp exercises are projected to continue as the modernization of the current force accelerates. Data is the ammunition of the future fight, and we must share it across all platforms and domains to compete and win.