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Joint UAV Center of Excellence at Creech

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- The newly created Joint Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Center of Excellence will stand up in October at Creech Air Force Base, Nev.

The Air Force UAV COE, established at Creech in March, will stand down in order to support the joint center. The Air Force will retain its UAV Battlelab, which will continue to coordinate activities at the tactical, operational and strategic levels.

"The Air Force is supporting the standup of the (joint center) and elected to stand down its own center to emphasize the importance of this Joint Initiative," said Col. William DelGrego, chief of Air Force concepts, strategy and wargaming division.

The joint center is designed to improve interoperability and will examine the use of sensors and intelligence collection assets to meet the operational requirements of U.S. forces in any combat environment. It will be an operationally focused organization concentrating on UAV systems technology, joint concepts, training, tactics, and procedural solutions to the warfighters’ needs.

"The Air Force UAV Battlelab will complement the (joint center), working to provide a common structure for UAV command and control systems, improve interoperability among the various systems and develop the common operating systems, standards, requirements, concept of operations, and training necessary to provide the joint warfighters the information they need," Colonel DelGrego said.

Initial operational capability for the joint center is scheduled for Oct. 1. A working group, to include a joint site activation task force, will begin in July. Joint center officials will determine resource and billet requirements and provide recommendations to the Joint Staff.

"The Air Force will enthusiastically support the joint site activation task force," Colonel DelGrego said. "As requirements unfold, it is expected that we will work aggressively with the other services to get the (joint center) up and running."

An Army brigadier general will initially lead the center with an Air Force colonel as the deputy. These positions will rotate among the four military services. Once established, the center will have representatives from all four military services.

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