HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. — Gen. Mark Kelly, commander of Air Combat Command, visited the 505th Command and Control Wing at Hurlburt Field, Florida, April 6. The 505th CCW is the U.S Air Force’s only wing dedicated to the Air Force’s core mission of command and control.
During his visit, Kelly toured the 505th CCW along with Chief Master Sgt. David Wade, command chief of ACC, to familiarize themselves with the wing’s C2 mission and the enlisted, officers, and civilians who execute its complex mission.
Gen. Kelly received an immersion brief, given by U.S. Air Force Col. Richard Dickens, commander of 505th CCW, leadership team, and honorary commanders.
Mr. Paul Lux, honorary commander of 505th CCW, and Ms. Cindy Frakes, honorary commander of 505th Test & Training Group shared how the ties they built during the wing’s last tour as part of 70 members from five Military Affairs Committees in the local area, prior to COVID-19, increased the proactive community voice for the 505th CCW and its mission.
U.S. Air Force Col. Francisco Gallei, commander of 505th TTG, discussed the group’s mission of premier testing, evaluation, training, and tactics development across C2, sensors, and battle management weapon systems.
Wade and Kelly learned that the 705th Training Squadron is the focal point for advanced Air Operations Center and Air Force Forces education and C2 process improvement. The squadron is launching the first Multi-domain Warfare Officer Instructor Upgrade Training course, which will begin in the next few months.
The leaders learned more about the unique C2 mission contributions of the wing’s units at Hurlburt Field, Florida, and the rest of its 13 geographically-separated units.
The 84th Radar Evaluation Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, monitors, evaluates, optimizes, and integrates fixed and mobile long-range radars for both the operational and federal communities. The 84th RADES also sets the standard for sensor coverage prediction and depiction, providing data analysis and unique radar forensics to support search and rescue missions and aircraft mishap investigations.
The 505th Combat Training Group, headquartered at Nellis AFB, Nevada, expertly and professionally conducts operational assessments/experimentation, develops advanced tactics, and trains warfighters for multi-domain integration, said Dickens.
Dickens continued, the 505th CCW, Detachment 1, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, provides airpower expertise and exercise support to the U.S. Army Mission Command Training Program and liaisons to the Combined Arms Center.
After the briefing, Kelly toured the battlespace as personnel from the 505th Combat Training Squadron, 505th Communications Squadron, U.S. Army Joint Support Team, and 505th CCW, Det 1 were supporting U.S. Army Warfighter Exercise 21-4, a multi-national exercise.
COMACC learned how the 605th Test & Evaluation Squadron conducts operational test & evaluation of C2, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems, including Airborne Warning and Control System, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, AOC, tactical air control party, Control and Reporting Centers, Air Defense Sectors, National Capital Region – Integrated Air Defense System, Distributed Common Ground Station, nuclear command, control, and communications, Common Mission Control Center, and other systems for the joint warfighter.
At the next stop, Wade and Kelly learned about the Advanced Programs’ building modernization efforts to enable the wing’s expanding missions. Despite these modernization efforts, they were briefed the current facility has been operating beyond capacity, which is why a consolidated Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility/Special Access Program Facility is the wing’s number one priority in the Area Development Plan.
Throughout the tour, Kelly seized several opportunities to recognize several of the 505th CCW’s best and brightest innovators for their exceptional performance.
• Senior Airman David Alvarado, 505th CTS
• Senior Airman Conner Kincaid, 505th CS
• Mr. Timothy Rincon, 605th TES
• Ms. Rhonda Berry, 505th CCW
• Capt. Stephen Perkins, 705th TRS
• Technical Sgt. Shanda Boyle, 505th Training Squadron
The tour’s final stop was the 505th TRS, the gateway for initial qualification training for all geographic and global Air Operations Centers. The squadron demonstrated how they train an operations team to oversee and ensure the general’s intent/directive is carried out from decision to action. While in the combat operations center, the leaders witnessed the team concept as each member carried out his/her responsibilities as dictated by the chief of combat operations during a training scenario that included a mock missile attack on Luke AFB, Arizona.
“It was great to host COMACC and Chief Wade,” said Col. Richard Dickens, commander of 505th CCW. “We have a lot of high-performing Airmen that are valued members of our team, so seeing them get an opportunity to brief our senior leaders and demonstrate to them how they’re accelerating change was very rewarding.”
Headquartered at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, ACC is the primary provider of air combat forces to the U.S. warfighting commanders. The command provides command, control, communications, and intelligence systems; operates fighter, reconnaissance, battle-management, and electronic-combat aircraft; and conducts global information operations.
Story by 505th Command and Control Wing (ACC) Public Affairs
Photos by Mr. Keith Keel