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Tropic ACE fuels joint cooperation between Air Force, Marines

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- U.S. Marines from the Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 assigned to Camp Foster, Japan, and Airmen from the 36th Contingency Response Group, assigned to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, partnered to develop advanced fueling solutions for contingency operations during exercise Tropic ACE (Agile Combat Employment) Aug. 28 - Sept. 15, 2017.

MWSS-172 specializes in providing all essential Aviation Ground Support (AGS) requirements to a Marine Aviation Combat Element and offers solutions and equipment to fueling in austere regions during the exercise with the members from the 36th CRG.

“We bring the equipment, and the expertise on the equipment,” said U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Misty Crowsey, MWSS-172 fuels specialist. “It’s a good opportunity for us to work with the Air Force to teach them what we know, and for them to teach us what they know.”

Marines and Airmen collaborated during the exercise to discuss strategies and assets to better understand how each service works and to enhance deployed joint operations.  

“What we’re getting from this exercise is knowledge from each other,” Crowsey said. “We’re learning on each other’s equipment.”

The combined expertise and job knowledge enabled participants to seamlessly integrate various fueling solutions, maximizing their adaptability for a variety of battlefield environments.

“When I touch down on ground with my equipment, and Staff Sgt. Crowsey is on the ground with her equipment, it’s not us meeting and figuring out their system,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Mike Coad, 36th CRG fuels specialist. “We already know what they have, we already know how they do business, so we just go to work.”

The Agile Combat Employment concept enables U.S. forces to operate from various austere operating bases where they may not necessarily have traditional bases, ensuring Airmen and aircrews are ready if a conflict arises.