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Standardized C2 Training Plan Advances Forward

February 15, 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Connections
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U.S. Air Force officials intend to standardize command and control (C2) training across air, space and cyber domains. The move will ensure that Air Force officers and staff personnel know how to better command and control all resources—from bombs and jet fighters to communications satellites and cyber offense and defense tools—ultimately making Air Force operations more effective for combatant commanders.

The standardized, cross-domain training will be conducted at all levels, including initial and mission qualification training, continuation, advanced and functional training. And it will put the Air Force ahead of the game in meeting the U.S. Defense Department’s Next Generation of Training Strategy, which is intended to foster a path for revolutionary training.

Officials from the 505th Command and Control Wing (CCW) have already briefed Gen. William Frasier, USAF, commander, Air Combat Command, and are in the process of informing four-star generals at the other major commands--a process that could be completed as soon as next month.

The intent is to create a single C2 training campus at Hurlburt Field, Florida. The first standardized class could be held as early as this summer. Until the standardized campus can be fully established, which will require additional instructors and possibly new facilities, the Air Force intends to send out mobile training teams to the Component Numbered Air Forces, which are organizations subordinate to major commands and with a range of command and control responsibilities.

“Command and control is one of those things that we do better than any other nation on the planet. Other nations have got fighters, some of them have bombers, some of them have transport, some of them have various combinations of those. What really brings it together is command and control of those assets, be it air assets, space or cyber,” says Col. Mustafa “Kujo” Koprucu, USAF, vice wing commander of the 505th CCW. Col. Koprucu has been tapped by the Air Force as the next 505th CCW commander. “What we’re doing is really taking that to the next level so it will be even tougher for any of our adversaries out there to contest us in the air, space or cyber domains.

“When we go to that joint force commander or coalition commander, and we can present fully integrated air, space and cyber capabilities to help that commander, that is huge. To have officers trained and able to operate in that environment and bring that full array of capabilities into that planning and execution effort, that’s really the biggest benefit. Regardless of whether we’re sending officers to Korea, to Europe or to Southwest Asia, they all get that standardized training,” Col. Koprucu says.

Currently, command and control training falls under the purview of major commands within the Air Force, and training is plagued with inconsistencies, redundancies and stovepiping, according to an independent study commissioned by the Air Force on the subject. The survey process included interviews with numerous C2 officials, from general officers on down.

DP Technology Services Incorporated conducted the independent study under a contract awarded in August 2010. The study analyzed the development of an advanced operational-level C2 training campus. The comprehensive report addresses future standardization and integration of air, space and cyberspace training and provides a number of recommendations, including the standardized training campus at Hurlburt Field.

More than 60 of the service’s top C2 officials attended a November conference hosted by the 505th CCW, where standardized training was one of the topics on the agenda. The conference goal was to harness the collective experience of key participants to collaborate on solving tactical and operational C2 issues within the Air Force.

The Air Force 505th CCW at Hurlburt Field is expected to play a key role in consolidating command and control training. The wing provides training and development of tactics, techniques and procedures; testing and training of command and control; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; and comprehensive, realistic, cutting-edge operational- and tactical-level live, virtual and constructive exercises for joint and coalition forces.