Air Operations Center
An Air Operations Center (AOC) is a type of command center used by the United States Air Force (USAF). It is the senior agency of the Air Force component commander to provide command and control of air operations.
The United States Air Force employs two kinds of AOCs: regional AOCs utilizing the AN/USQ-163 Falconer weapon system that support geographic combatant commanders, and functional AOCs that support functional combatant commanders. When there is more than one U.S. military service working in an AOC, such as when naval aviation from the U.S. Navy (USN) and/or the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) is incorporated, it is called a Joint Air Operations Center (JAOC). In cases of allied or coalition (multinational) operations in tandem with USAF or Joint air and space operations, the AOC is called a Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC).
An AOC is the senior element of the Theater Air Control System (TACS). The Joint Force Commander (JFC) assigns a Joint Forces Air Component Commander (JFACC) to lead the AOC weapon system. If allied or coalition forces are part of the operation, the JFC and JFACC will be redesignated as the CFC and CFACC, respectively.
Quite often the Commander, Air Force Forces (COMAFFOR) is assigned the JFACC/CFACC position for planning and executing theater-wide air and space forces. If another service also provides a significant share of air and space forces, the Deputy JFACC/CFACC will typically be a senior flag officer from that service. For example, during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, when USAF combat air forces (CAF) and mobility air forces (MAF) integrated extensive USN and USMC sea-based and land-based aviation and Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy / Fleet Air Arm aviation, the CFACC was an aeronautically rated USAF lieutenant general, assisted by an aeronautically designated USN rear admiral (upper half) as the Deputy CFACC, and an aeronautically rated RAF air commodore as the Senior British Officer (Air).
There are five divisions in the AOC. These separate, but distinct, organizations fuse information that eventually becomes the Air Tasking Order. Staffing of these divisions consists primarily of USAF officers of various specialities in the ranks of captain, major and lieutenant colonel, supported by a smaller cohort of enlisted airmen, typically in the rank of staff sergeant and above. When conducting joint air and space operations, U.S. Army and USMC officers of similar rank and USN officers in the ranks of lieutenant, lieutenant commander and commander will also provide augmentative manning as required, the majority of whom will be aeronautically rated/aeronautically designated. Senior leadership oversight of the AOC is provided by USAF colonels and general officers and USN captains and flag officers.
Strategy Division (SRD)Edit
- Strategy Plans Team
- Strategy Guidance Team
- Operational Assessment Team
- Information Operations Team
Combat Plans Division (CPD)Edit
- Target Effects Team
- Master Air Attack Plan Team
- Air Tasking Order Production Team
- Command and Control Planning Team
Combat Operations Division (COD)Edit
- Offensive Ops Team
- Defensive Ops Team
- Personnel Recovery
- Senior Intelligence Duty Officer
- Joint Interface Control Officer
- Weather Specialty Team
- Naval Air Liaison Element (NALE)
- USN + USMC; NALE also provides personnel/support to CPD and ISRD
Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Division (ISRD)Edit
- Analysis, Correlation, and Fusion
- Targeting and Tactical Assessment
- ISR Operations
Air Mobility Division (AMD)Edit
- AMD Chief
- Deputy AMD Chief
- Air Mobility Control Team (AMCT)
- Execution Cell
- Mission Management
- Flight Management
- USAPAT Mission Planner
- Airlift Control Team (ALCT)
- Airlift Plans
- DV Airlifts
- Diplomatic Clearance
- Air Refueling Control Team (ARCT)
- Aeromedical Evacuation Control Team (AECT)
- Unique Missions Support Team (AMDU)
Active Air Operations CentersEdit
Inactive Air Operations CentresEdit
|Name||Emblem||Location||Country||Major Command||Named or Numbered Air Force||Unified Combat Comand||Type||Role|
|614th Air Operations Centre||Vandenberg AFB, California||United States||Air Force Space Command||Fourteenth Air Force (Air Forces Strategic)||US Space Command||Functional||Transitioned to the US Space Force with the rest of Air Force Space Command on 20 December 2019.|
|617th Air and Space Operations Center||Ramstein AB||Germany||United States Air Forces Africa||Seventeenth Air Force (Air Forces Africa)||US Africa Command||Regional||Operational between 1 October 2008 and 1 October 2011. Merged with 603rd AOC.|
|623rd Air Operations Center||Hurlburt Field, Florida||United States||Air Force Special Operations Command||Twenty-Third Air Force (Air Forces Special Operations Forces)||US Special Operations Command||Functional||Re-designated as the Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center (AFSOAWC) on 11 February 2013. Provided command and control of special forces.|
- 102d Air Operations Group – Otis ANGB, Cape Cod, Massachusetts (Massachusetts Air National Guard) 
- 103d Air Operations Group – East Granby, Connecticut (Connecticut Air National Guard) 
- 193d Air Operations Group formally known as the 112th Air Operations Squadron – State College, Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Air National Guard)
- 152d Air Operations Group – Hancock Field ANGB, Syracuse, New York (New York Air National Guard)
- 157th Air Operations Group – Jefferson Barracks, St Louis, Missouri (Missouri Air National Guard)
- 183d Air Operations Group Capital Airport ANGS, Springfield, Illinois (Illinois Air National Guard)
- 217th Air Operations Group – Kellogg ANGB, Battle Creek, Michigan (Michigan Air National Guard)
- 321st Air Mobility Operations Squadron – Travis AFB, California (Air Mobility Command)
- 349th Air Mobility Operations Squadron – Travis AFB, California (Air Force Reserve Command)
- 515th Air Mobility Operations Squadron – McGuire AFB, New Jersey (Air Force Reserve Command)
- 621st Air Mobility Operations Squadron – McGuire AFB, New Jersey (Air Mobility Command)
- 701st Combat Operations Squadron – March ARB, California (Air Force Reserve Command)
- In addition to its augmentation role to PACAF's 607 AOC at Osan AB, South Korea, the 701 COS established its own AOC facility in the former Southwest Air Defense Sector at March ARB (established 2004)
- 710th Combat Operations Squadron – Langley AFB, Virginia (Air Force Reserve Command)
Since July 2013 The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) also uses the Combined Air Operations Centre concept at two locations (Torrejon, Spain and Uedem, Germany) with a deployable Air Operations Centre at Poggio Renatico, Italy. Previously, supporting the air component commands were 5 static Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOCs) to direct NATO air operations: in Finderup, Denmark; Eskisehir, Turkey; Larissa, Greece; Torrejon, Spain and Lisbon, Portugal. There were 2 further CAOCs with a static as well as a deployable role; Uedem, Germany and Poggio Renatico. The static CAOCs can support Allied air operations from their fixed locations, while the deployable CAOC will move where they are needed.
- Air Force Doctrine Document 1-2, Air Force Glossary Archived 13 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. 11 January 2007. Accessed 29 January 2011.
- Air Force Doctrine Document 2, Operations and Organization Archived 13 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. 3 April 2007. Accessed 29 January 2011.
- "601st Air Operations Centre". CONR-1AF (AFNORTH). US Air Force. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- "603rd Air and Space Operations Centre – Fact Sheet" (PDF). US Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa. US Air Force. 15 March 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- "607th Air Operations Center". Seventh Air Force. US Air Force. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- "608th Air Operations Center". Eighth Air Force. US Air Force. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- "Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC)". US Air Forces Central Command. US Air Force. July 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- "611th Air Operations Center". Joint Base Elemendorf-Ricahrdson. US Air Force. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- "612th Air Operations Center". 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern). US Air Force. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- "613th Air Operations Center". Pacific Air Forces. US Air Force. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- "About Us". 618th Air Operations Center. US Air Force. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- Betit, 2nd Lt. Brooke; Brown, Senior Airman Jason J. (13 August 2013). "605th TES tests next-gen weapons systems at Langley". Air Combat Command. US Air Force. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
- "Nellis' Combined Air Operations Center doubles capacity". Air Combat Command. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
- Hirsch, Steve (4 June 2018). "Departing Head of Space Ops Center Cites Importance of Cooperation with Allies". Air Force Magazine. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
- Svan, Jennifer H. (20 October 2011). "Air Force merges two command and control units in Germany". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
- Fisher, Master Sgt. Jim (2 June 2009). "617th Air and Space Operations Center activates at Ramstein". US Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa. US Air Force. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
- "Air Force Special Operations Command 25th Anniversary Issue" (PDF). Hurlburt Chapter #398 – Air Force Association. June 2015. p. 10. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- 112d Air Operations Squadron Homepage
- NYANG – 152d AOG Homepage
- Air Force Reserve News