Multi-Domain Warfare students observe real-time C2 of AFSOUTH operations

The Multi-Domain Warfare Officer Initial Skills Training class 21B visited the 612th Air Operations Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., to observe real-time operations, Sept. 27-28, 2021.

The 612th AOC’s mission is to “plan, command, control, execute, and assess air, space, and information operations to meet Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Commander, United States Southern Command’s taskings across the full spectrum of military operations.”

Davis-Monthan AFB was the third of a four-leg trip for the Multi-Domain Warfare Officer, or 13O, students traveling to geographic and functional operations centers. The 13Os had just visited the Shadow Operations Center – Nellis, or ShOC-N, at Nellis AFB, Nev., as well as the Combined Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. Their next and final stop will be the 616th Operations Center at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.

“When the class arrived, they received a brief about how 13Os have been used in AFSOUTH [Air Forces Southern] and some of the unique characteristics of the command and AOC,” according to Maj. Nathaniel “Crowbar” Butler, a 13O Class 20A graduate, assigned to the 612th AOC Strategy Division. “We then provided them with initial data and assumptions to begin planning for a strategic deterrence mission. We were able to provide real-world lines of effort, priorities, and constraints to shape their planning.”

The training exercise provided the students with real-world exercise planning experience using real-world products that were not derived in an academic environment.

Butler continued, “Their deliverable was a brief that demonstrated how they would employ a task force, with a synchronized IO [information operations] plan, to build partnership in our AOR [area of responsibility] and reinforce the message that the U.S. is the ‘Trusted Partner’ in South America.”

Both teams successfully met the air component’s intent and demonstrated an ability to use their training in a competition environment scenario.

“It’s just amazing to witness how far we’ve come as a brand new career field. When I graduated as part of the very first 13O class, we were still an experiment in almost every sense of the word,” weighed in Lt. Col. Marcus “Troll” Bryan, 705th Training Squadron commander/leader of the 13O schoolhouse, Hurlburt Field, Florida.

Bryan continued, “The first 13O graduates didn’t know what to expect when we left the schoolhouse nest. In many instances, AOCs were a hodge-podge of various career fields where organizational culture was dependent on command climate. Now we have 13O students visiting 13O graduates, executing real-world 13O planning events as part of their training, and most importantly building a culture of operational C2 expertise across the globe!”

Lt. Col. Benjamin “Dragon” Lee, 705th TRS director of operations and 13O graduate, seconded that view. “By the time this class graduates, they’ll know where their first follow-on assignment will be, and most (if not all) of those assignments will be to Air Components like they saw on this TDY. This world-wide 13O network and culture is one of many 13O career field milestones that will help the USAF lead the joint force in an era of strategic competition.”

The demand signal from the air components for confident operational command and control experts capable of integrating multiple domains is stronger than ever. The 20-week AFSC [Air Force Specialty Code]-awarding course is the most rigorous operational-level planning course in the USAF, preparing 13Os to lead operational planning within the air component from day one.

To learn more about 13O training and the Multi-Domain Warfare Officer career field, visit the following websites: https://intelshare.intelink.gov/sites/C2/13O/SitePages/Home.aspx and https://www.milsuite.mil/book/groups/13O.

The 705th TRS reports to the 505th Test and Training Group and 505th Command and Control Wing, both are headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Fla.

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