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Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC)


The Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) commands and controls the broad spectrum of what air power brings to the fight: Global Vigilance, Global Reach, and Global Power. Located at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, the CAOC provides the command and control of airpower throughout the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility; a 21 nation region stretching from Northeast Africa across the Middle East to Central and South Asia.

Serving as the operational bridge that integrates and synchronizes strategic decisions to tactical-level execution, the CAOC is comprised of a vast array of people, programs and processes that execute day-to-day combined air and space operations and provides rapid reaction, positive control, coordination and deconfliction of weapons systems.


Functioning as the nerve center of the air campaign, the CAOC plans, monitors and directs sortie execution, close air support and precision air strike; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; airlift; air refueling; aeromedical evacuation; air drop, and countless other mission-critical operations.


To facilitate superior airpower operations, the CAOC relies upon the expertise of joint and Coalition teams within five divisions: Strategy Division (SRD); Combat Plans Division (CPD); Combat Operations Division (COD); Air Mobility Divisions (AMD); and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division (ISRD). 


A Total Force team of active duty, Air National Guard and Reserve personnel began construction on the facility in July 2002. The CAOC, both team members and equipment, became fully operational Feb. 18, 2003.

Built at a cost of $60 million, the project involved installation of more than 67 miles of high-capacity and fiber optic cable. This capability created the most advanced operations center in history. Keeping these systems operating requires hundreds of people, working in satellite communications, imagery analysis, network design, computer programming, radio systems, systems administration and other fields. 

Updated July 2017