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AFCENT hosts Sailors, Marines for Joint Air Operations Workshop

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Brendan Miller, Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) Public Affairs
  • AFCENT Public Affairs

The 609th Air Support Squadron hosted 35 U.S. Navy Sailors and U.S. Marines during a Joint Air Operations Workshop, Feb. 2, 2024, at Shaw Air Force Base’s Air Operations Center.

The workshop provided Air Force and Navy Reservists assigned to Naval and Amphibious Liaison Element Headquarters unit and 710th Combat Operations Squadron with a better understanding of exercise planning in support of combined and multi-domain exercises and potential real world scenarios within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

“This was the first time the 710th Combat Operations Squadron Detachment 1 trained with Navy Reserve counterparts during a drill weekend,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Justin Cooper, 710th COS Det 1 commander.

The workshop consisted of robust table-top and simulated scenarios that tested joint coalition partners across all domains. The scenarios provided 710th COS Det 1 members an opportunity to assess readiness on Master Air Attack Plan functions of naval aviation assets such as the F/A-18 Super Hornet, the EA-18G Growler and the E-2 Hawkeye.

 “This training was unlike workshops in the past” added Cooper, “because our [710th COS Det 1] members were able to train with Navy Reserve counterparts on key functions such as Carrier Deck Cycles and planning naval aviation assets on the Air Tasking Order via the Master Air Attack Plan.”.

U.S. Navy Capt. Jan Ketchum, Naval and Amphibious Liaison Element headquarters commanding officer, explained that the event allowed the AFCENT and NALE teams to share their expertise.

“The Navy Reservists brought realism to the planning process with their experience in Carrier Strike Group flight operations and Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft missions,” said Ketchum. “And Det 1 U.S. Air Force Reservists were able to show us hands on how AFCENT is moving forward with the Kessel Run All-Domain Operations Suite of tools for joint air planning.”

“This was a stepping stone in the integration of Navy Reserve units involved in the operational level of war to coordinate with their respective joint components,” Ketchum added. “A great event for Navy and Air Force readiness.”

Sailors, Marines, and Airmen gained valuable knowledge ahead of future integrated air and missile defense exercises, which focus on skills surrounding operational procedures between air and naval elements at the Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

Cooper said, “These exercises allow the 710th COS Det 1 Airmen to complete mission qualification and continuation training for the 609th AOC while familiarizing themselves with the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.”

The Joint Air Operations Workshop is a step in a series of training opportunities that better prepares the joint warfighter for interoperability on the battlefield.