HomeNewsArticle Display

Crushing ISIS: Air power operations in a complex battle space

Crushing ISIS

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces Central Command commander, speaks about the challenges of air power operations in a complex battle space as part of the Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept 18, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wayne A. Clark)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (AFNS) -- Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, discussed the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria during the 2017 Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference, Sept. 18, 2017.

Since assuming command in July 2016, Harrigian has directed operations to defeat ISIS, to include the liberation of Mosul and the ongoing fight to liberate Raqqa and the remaining ISIS held territory within Iraq and Syria.

“Crushing ISIS,” he said. “Let there be no doubt in anybody’s mind that’s what we are doing and that’s what this is about.”

According to Harrigian, part of the AFCENT mission is distributing, with precision, 150 to 175 weapons a day with support from a targeting teams across the U.S.

“We got to have action that moves us forward, solves our problems and ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s about winning,” said Harrigian. “That’s what our Airmen provide for us.”

He detailed the operational complexities of the environment that coalition forces deal with on the ground every day.

Harrigian emphasized a leader’s role in every mission is to provide guidance and intent, then Airmen execute the mission on the tactical side.

“It gets back to empowering our team. When I talk about empowering, there’s a trust factor,” he said. “You’re going to make a decision and I’ll back you up.”

For the last 20 years Airmen resorted to using a seven foot wide whiteboard to monitor airspace. As technology progressed, Airmen on the ground developed the Tanker Planning Tool.

“[This tool] allowed them to focus on good quality mission planning,” Lt. Col Enrique Oti, Defense Innovation Unit Experimental director said. “It allowed for changes in the plan…they could run through multiple different options and try different scenarios.”

Harrigian imparted how his team is providing air superiority, and failure to achieve that mission endangers the joint force while increasing the cost of achieving victory against ISIS .

“At the end of the day, this is all about providing security and stability for those that have to live in this part of the world,” Harrigian said. “I’m privileged to be a part of this team. It’s been an experience, personally for me unlike anything I’ve ever had a chance to be a part of, and I’m just a small part of a great team that’s winning.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @USAmbNATO: I am very proud of our 🇺🇸 @usairforce airmen from the 57th Rescue Squadron who have been in 🇮🇹 #Italy training personnel rec…
RT @DVIDSHub: The #A10 Thunderbolt II is a slow yet maneuverable aircraft capable of taking and throwing hits that would render other aircr…
RT @AETCommand: There are few missions requiring years to plan/prep, only to be accomplished in less than 6 seconds. Courtesy @AirmanMagaz
Combat rescue helicopter pilots and crew undergo intensive underwater-egress training to prepare for worst-case sce… https://t.co/Z9z1kHAmay
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Look at this amazing photo of @usairforce and @RCAF_ARC C-130 Hercules aircraft taking off from #LittleRockAirForceBase. @…
Check out what's happening around the #AirForce this week! https://t.co/MCM1NiVAEN
Ice, Ice Baby ❄️❄️🌬️ Fire protection specialists at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska practice self-recover… https://t.co/tSSMzACZyz
Great job @CivilAirPatrol. 9 lives saved this year! https://t.co/43ICzmOMaX
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Privileged to spend time at our annual Weapons & Tactics Conference @NellisAFB where leaders of our combat power meet…
RT @AETCommand: Thanks @EsperDoD for visiting our 479th Flying Training Group team at @NASPCOLA! #DYK the group is the @usairforce's only…
RT @theF35JPO: Because we all love a bit of F-35 #slowmo. Watch an #F35 release flares in #slowmotion at @EdwardsAFB. ⚡ https://t.co/AIRCGL…
RT @US_SOCEUR: U.S. #airmen assigned to the 352d Special Operations Wing fly a CV-22B #Osprey aircraft over #Hungary. https://t.co/sSmjq90S…
RT @HQ_AFMC: It's another #NightAtTheMuseum event at the @AFmuseum this Friday when a special evening to celebrate the final days of the Ca…
RT @HQUSAFEPA: The U.S. & #Romania have a standing partnership to address issues of regional & global security. To advance those interests,…
Our Airmen train to perform even when conditions get harsh. @435AEW defenders used self-aid & buddy care, vehicle… https://t.co/ZXVzSUBzsK
Ohio @AirNatlGuard, @178thWing and @179AW sent Disaster Relief Beddown Sets to Puerto Rico to aid earthquake relief… https://t.co/qTGlDasRdY
RT @AFResearchLab: Our 711th Human Performance Wing is studying Airmen's sleeping habits to improve performance and readiness to further th…
.@NellisAFB Airmen help prep an @AusAirForce C-17 Globemaster III to receive fire suppressant needed to aid in the… https://t.co/fRiXN5lNh0
RT @USSOCOM: SOF Truth III: Special Operations Forces cannot be mass produced. It takes years to train operational units to the level of pr…