The Combat Operations Division (COD) executes and monitors the Combined Force Air Component Commander’s daily Air Tasking Order (ATO), a document that directs daily air operations with respect to aircraft sorties, weapons loads and operational tasks. As one of five divisions within the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC), the COD enables the CAOC to meet its mission as the primary command and control facility for Coalition air operations in the U.S. Central Command’s (USCENTCOM) Area of Responsibility (AOR). The COD serves as the CAOC’s dynamic around-the-clock operations floor.
The COD executes and monitors each day’s ATO. Members of the COD coordinate with tasked wing operations centers, air support operations centers and other theater and national air control systems to achieve air and space operations. The COD is also the focal point for monitoring the real-time execution of joint and combined air operations across the entire USCENTCOM AOR.
Division members execute the ATO through constant command and control of the battle space, subordinate Theater Air Control System elements and assigned assets. The COD adjusts the ATO in response to changing situations such as battlefield dynamics, maintenance problems or adverse weather, and publishes changes to the ATO and the Airspace Control Order at throughout each execution day. The COD assumes responsibility for the next day’s ATO as soon as it is released from the Combat Plans Division.
The COD is led operationally by the Chief of Combat Operations. Specific mission requirements dictate the elements that comprise the COD at any given time. The COD is composed of offensive, defensive, and intelligence duty officers as well as weather, airspace management, and joint personnel recovery representatives. Liaison teams representing sister services, Coalition countries, various weapons systems and other specialties also augment the COD. Depending on the nature of the operations, typical liaison teams include the Army Battlefield Detachment, Navy and Amphibious Liaison Element, Special Operations Liaison Element, Marine Liaison Officer, Coalition liaisons, and other platform-specific liaisons with detailed knowledge of their aircraft.
Updated July 2017