Air Operations Center experts enhance Ready Tiger exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Thomas Johns
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

The 505th Command and Control Wing from Hurlburt Field, Florida, teamed up with the 23rd Wing to simulate Air Operations Center activities for exercise Ready Tiger, from Feb. 28 to March 4 at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.

The 505th CCW is acting as the Air Operations Center generating air tasking orders, establishing communications with the Wing Operations Center and ultimately providing advice for Lead Wing doctrine.

“We bring the subject matter experts and the overarching expertise of command and control and controlling of assets” said David Hetzler, 505th CCW Lead-Wing instructor. “We’re providing the Air Operations Center component and replication of airpower to the Lead Wing. Command and control is having the authority and the ability to manage the forces that are at your disposal. The command and control of a Lead Wing is non-standard and requires a different level of employment to really pull off.”

Hetlzer explained that previous exercises focused on building C2 capabilities through tabletop training, but lacked true AOC interaction. Ready Tiger builds on previous training to include real interactions between the AOC and staff in the WOC. The ability to talk to an acting AOC makes the exercise more realistic, promotes new ways of approaching training and solidifies Lead-Wing asset employment.

“We’re really able to help Moody during Ready Tiger by assisting them in thinking a bit more grand than just within the WOC,” Hetzler said. “We can get them to think more about their part in the overarching scheme and maneuver of the Joint Force Air Component Commander through realism and interaction.”

The participation of the 505th CCW and the expertise they provide gives useful real world skills to 23rd Wing members that allow them to navigate the administrative paths to generate combat air power.

“Having the 505th CCW here really helps us refine our staff processes by working with an agency that knows C2 and AOC operations,” said Maj. Aaron Gordon, 23rd Wing A-staff director of operations. “These processes help us develop our tactics, techniques, and procedures, when interacting with the JFACC. They also allow us to save resources by coming to us and allowing us to practice our capabilities.”

Along with helping instill the Lead-Wing concept at Moody, the 505th CCW is using the exercise as a way to improve their expertise in training Lead-Wing command and control concepts.

“One of the things we do, is we take observations during the exercise and have a discussion to resolve large C2 nuggets, then get that information out to all the AOCs,” said Michael Steinkraus, 505th CCW Lessons Learned team lead. “Through the C2 training, if we can get these observations from the Wings out now, and incorporate them into Lead-Wing training, then we’re solving them as we go. We can do this by actually talking to the individuals in the exercise.”

Ultimately, the 505th CCW’s goal is to use the lessons they learn through training, exercises, and evaluations to shape the future of warfighters who execute command and control operations.