HomeNewsArticle Display

AFCENT command and control operations weather the storm

An Airman assigned to the 609th Air Operations Center works on the combat operations division floor at the Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, June 16, 2017. Despite Hurricane Florence hitting South Carolina last week, Airmen assigned to the 609th AOC Detachment 1 at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, continued operations without interruption in support of U.S. Central Command military operations. AFCENT has adopted a distributed command and control model for operations, meaning organizations at multiple locations enable combat operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel)

An Airman assigned to the 609th Air Operations Center works on the combat operations division floor at the Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, June 16, 2017. Despite Hurricane Florence hitting South Carolina last week, Airmen assigned to the 609th AOC Detachment 1 at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., continued operations, without interruption, in support of U.S. Central Command military operations. AFCENT has adopted a distributed command and control model for operations, meaning organizations at multiple locations enable combat operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel)

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar (AFNS) -- As a violent force approached, the Airmen dug in to repel the force. It was just like an attack, but this one came from nature.

Hundreds of miles wide, the force posed a devastating threat. Undeterred, the Airmen assessed the situation, developed and refined their plan and prepared to continue operations. 

The force smashed into their northern and western flank, but still, the Airmen stayed focused on the U.S. Central Command mission, a fight thousands of miles away. The opposing force was no enemy, however. These Airmen of the 609th Air Operations Center, Detachment 1, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, faced Hurricane Florence. 

Airmen of the 609th AOC Det. 1 support real-world command and control operations everyday with AFCENT’s forward headquarters at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Whether it’s ensuring the Combined Air Operations Center maintains resiliency in the face of any attack or situation, or planning hundreds of daily air mobility missions, this partnership between the Airmen in Qatar and the U.S. is essential to a new model of command and control operations.

Last week, these AFCENT Airmen balanced the priorities of continuing to support airpower operations in the CENTCOM area of responsibility, all while preparing Shaw AFB military headquarters and their homes for Florence’s onslaught. 

Florence slammed into North and South Carolina devastating multiple communities and families. The Air Force evacuated aircraft from multiple installations to avoid damage. 

Yet continuing operations in the face of Florence’s extraordinary attack was vital to AFCENT continuing daily operations in support of CENTCOM military objectives. AFCENT Airmen and joint forces worked together daily to offset Iran’s significant destabilizing force all while leading a diverse coalition that delivers airpower in Afghanistan, as well as Iraq and Syria, as part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and Operation Inherent Resolve, respectively. 

“The National Defense Strategy inspires us to develop cutting-edge [command, control, communications, computers and intelligence] operations that foster U.S. deterrence credibility into the future of advanced high-end warfare,” said Col. Paul Maykish, 609th AOC commander. “Hurricane Florence helped us do our part of the strategy by proving our [command and control] concepts faster. Florence enhanced our convictions that we can operate from anywhere.” 

AFCENT has adopted a distributed model of command and control operations, meaning that multiple organizations at a handful of locations combine to shoulder the operational level of war. 

“We’re experimenting with distributed command and control operations, putting the Air Force on the leading edge for how we can operate in the future. Florence compelled us to re-distribute these real-world [command and control] operations in the U.S. to three different locations. We were ready,” said Lt. Col. Marlon Strickland 609th AOC Det. 1 commander.

Distribution of forces is a timeless military tactic making it difficult for any enemy or attack to defeat a force or, raising the stakes of doing so. AFCENT’s model of distributing operational-level warfare however, is cutting edge resilience.

“Just as flexibility is key to airpower, resiliency is a key to command and control,” said Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, Combined Forces Air Component commander for U.S. Central Command. “As our adversaries observe us providing credible airpower across CENTCOM, over 1,000 aviation events per day, they will also see that the [command and control] of these operations is resilient and not dependent on one location or mission system.”  

Engage

Twitter
Aircrews from the 437th Airlift Wing @TeamCharleston worked alongside @USArmy's 82nd Airborne Division during Batta… https://t.co/GozzCKbwFN
Twitter
RT @AirMobilityCmd: #Airmen from the 436th APS recently loaded an Egyptian air force #130H at #DoverAFB as part of a foreign military sales…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Success will require collaboration within and throughout our joint partnerships to ensure credibility and lethality of ou…
Twitter
These exercises ensure the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB is able to provide the nation with winning combat power.… https://t.co/Q622IA7vsR
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: #Teamwork + #Partners = Success! U.S. & German Air Force #JTACs teamed up to call in close air support during exercise #a
Twitter
Night flying exercises provide @48FighterWing aircrew & support personnel the experience needed to maintain a ready… https://t.co/5N20mfHOh3
Twitter
RT @USAF_ACC: .@505th_CCW Shadow Operations Center-Nellis participated in the most recent @usairforce Advanced Battle Management System (AB…
Twitter
The @AFResearchLab uses stimuli-responsive polymers for everything from soft robotic grippers to actuators. Called… https://t.co/ZfkMBa65FU
Twitter
RT @AirmanMagazine: Members of the 413th Test Flight at @TeamEglin, FL., tested three weapons for the HH-60W Jolly Green II. The training…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: I also framed her photo in my office at the pentagon...as a daily reminder of “why” I serve and to “whom” I serve. Ma…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Liz was a well known and loved member of Team Goodfellow. A photo of her was beautifully framed by my wingman, Chief T…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Team — this hits close to home with me. A1C Elizabeth Jacobson wasn’t just the first Security Forces Airman to die duri…
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: #AstralKnight 2020 is an Integrated Air & Missile Defense exercise that enhances regional security with our @NATO partners…
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: Johnson brothers ARTs of maintenance missions (Story by the @403rdWing) #ReserveReady #ReserveResilient #ReadyAF https://…
Twitter
RT @SpaceForceCSO: On this Gold Star Mother’s & Family Day…we remember. We remember those who have fallen in service to our great nation. W…
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: To wear the Gold Star button means a military family member has lost a loved one in uniform. On this #GoldStarMothersDay
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: A Gold Star Family is the immediate family member(s) of a fallen service member who died while serving in a time of con…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Wingmen — Since 1936, our nation has recognized the last Sunday of September as Gold Star Mother’s Day. In 2011, we inc…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The U.S. is safe because of the men & women, supported by strong and courageous families, who volunteer to protect it. T…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,284,129
Follow Us