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Honoring the past, looking to the future, 609th AOC receives new commander

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Dominic Tyler
  • Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central)
AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar – The U.S. Air Force’s 609th Air Operations Center received a new commander as Col. Joshua Koslov relinquished command to Col. Kevin M. Ogle at the Combined Air Operations Center on May 25, 2022.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. David Meyer, Deputy Commander, Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central), presided over the ceremony and recapped the unit’s contributions, “It’s been a year of warfighting through significant transitions.

I know the Airmen of the 609th prospered under his [Koslov’s] leadership and I found working with him to be very rewarding.”

During his speech, Meyer recalled the challenges Koslov faced while leading more than 1,000 joint and coalition total force personnel geographically distributed across five divisions and four squadrons, between both Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, and Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina.

“His [Kosklov’s] leadership was key to the 609th AOC’s execution of the largest non-combative evacuation in U.S. history, brining evacuees out of Afghanistan,” said Meyer.

In the height of pure desperation, 609th AOC personnel worked 24/7 for seventeen days and coordinated airlifts for more than 124,000 helpless American citizens, Afghanis, and other special immigrant visa applicants.

“[the hard-work of the 609th] was never more evident than when this building, with little notice or fanfare, transformed itself from the greatest killing machine in the world to a beacon of hope for people stranded on one runway in Afghanistan,” said Koslov.

Despite making history in the fall of 2021, the success continued as 21 coalition nations renewed their commitment to deterring regional aggressors alongside their American counterparts.

On May 4th, the newly developed Information Sharing Agreement was signed to provide continuous air, space, and cyber power to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

“As a trusted international advisor, Koslov has bolstered relationships with senior national representatives,” said Meyer.

In addition, by utilizing the innovative expertise of the Kessel Run program, the team led the first Theatre Battle Management Core System upgrade in more than eight years; thus reducing the time it takes to create an Air Tasking Order from nine hours to three. A critical component to the success of the Afghnaistan evacuation.

Although the ceremony recapped the many accomplishments of the unit; it also provided members with an opportunity to welcome their new commander, Col. Kevin M. Ogle, while also looking to the future.

“Col. Ogle joins the AFCENT [Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central)] team as an expert in combat operations,” said Meyer. “I’m confident that under his leadership, the 609th AOC will build upon the record of exceptional results that this organization is famous for worldwide.”

Ogle closed the ceremony with his vision for the future, which included his desire to continue posturing to prevail tomorrow, deter regional aggressors, and the forging of resolute partnerships across the AFCENT AOR.

“I am honored to be a member of the Combined Air Operations Center,” said Ogle. “I represent my nation amongst warriors of many great nations [who are] seeking stability and security for our loved ones. The opportunity to work beside the members of the 609th is already something I will talk about for years to come.”

To date, the 609th AOC has delivered operational command and control to 60,000 sorties and 700 strikes in support of Operations Inherent Resolve, Freedom’s Sentinel, Spartan Shield, and Resolute Support and was key to the Israeli Air Forces’ integration into the United States Central Command AOR.