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PACAF officials establish warfighting headquarters

FILE PHOTO -- In July 1942, Gen. George C. Kenney was the Allied Air Forces commanding general in the Southwest Pacific and Fifth Air Force commanding general, joining Gen. Douglas MacArthur as his top air officer.  He died in 1977.  Pacific Air Forces officials established the George C. Kenney Headquarters (Provisional) at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, on June 1.  The headquarters will focus exclusively on planning and executing military operations throughout the Pacific theater, excluding the Korean Peninsula.  (U.S. Air Force photo)

FILE PHOTO -- In July 1942, Gen. George C. Kenney was the Allied Air Forces commanding general in the Southwest Pacific and Fifth Air Force commanding general, joining Gen. Douglas MacArthur as his top air officer. He died in 1977. Pacific Air Forces officials established the George C. Kenney Headquarters (Provisional) at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, on June 1. The headquarters will focus exclusively on planning and executing military operations throughout the Pacific theater, excluding the Korean Peninsula. (U.S. Air Force photo)

HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii (AFPN) -- Pacific Air Forces headquarters officials established the George C. Kenney Headquarters (Provisional) here June 1.

The newly formed warfighting headquarters will focus exclusively on planning and executing military operations throughout the Pacific theater, excluding the Korean Peninsula. It is named after Gen. George C. Kenney, a pioneer in aerial warfare strategy and tactics in the Pacific theater.

“This is an exciting time in Pacific Air Forces as we stand up the General George C. Kenney Headquarters -- a provisional full-service, operational-level headquarters,” said Gen. Paul V. Hester, PACAF commander. “It will serve as the premier joint forces air and space command and control organization with a standing 24/7 air operations center to serve both the PACAF commander and the commander (of) United States Pacific Command.”

“The day-to-day focus of the headquarters is warfighting and contingency response,” said Lt. Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., new headquarters commander and PACAF vice commander. “PACAF will maintain responsibility for organizing, training and equipping our Airmen.”

The new headquarters will benefit from its proximity to Hickam’s existing Pacific Air and Space Operations Center, which serves as the joint force air component commander’s operational headquarters, extending from the California coast to the western borders of India and from Alaska down to Antarctica.

“The (headquarters) will arm the Pacific with a fulltime, standing coalition/joint force air and space component commander who is also prepared to command any joint task force, when tasked,” General Hester said. “It provides a network-centric approach to operations that includes the fusion of globally connected air and space operations centers with intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and strike capabilities for real-time visibility and precision execution of all contingency and deliberately planned operations.”

Standing up the provisional unit is the prelude to the activation of the headquarters in the fall, officials said. It is part of the Air Force’s plan to establish a continuously operating network of 10 warfighting headquarters that support geographic and functional combatant commanders worldwide, officials said.

“This is the first step in standing up as a permanent organization,” said Col. Mark Tapper, the new headquarters chief of staff. “Having a provisional unit enables a seamless transition from day-to-day operations to a fully operational and mission capable unit for the unified combatant commander as the air component.”

The provisional unit allows leaders to establish practices and operations for the unit before the permanent organization activities, Colonel Tapper said.

The Air Force’s ability to use forces worldwide enhances national security and ensures military objectives are met.

“The (headquarters) is the center of PACAF’s on-going transformation effort to better posture forces, enable new warfighting concepts and enhance transformational capabilities such as the F/A-22 (Raptor), C-17 (Globemaster III) and Global Hawk,” General Hester said. (Courtesy of PACAF News Service)

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