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Al Dhafra welcomes new Air Warfare Center commander

Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, U.S. Air Force Central Command commander, speaks to Col. Jason Hokaj and Col. Thomas Wolfe during the Air Warfare Center change of command ceremony June 19, 2019, at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates.

Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, U.S. Air Force Central Command commander, speaks to Col. Jason Hokaj and Col. Thomas Wolfe during the Air Warfare Center change of command ceremony June 19, 2019, at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates. Hokaj relinquished command and Wolfe accepted command of the AWC. The center strengthens partnerships of allies and the ability to perform operations together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Thornbury)

Col. Thomas Wolfe, right, accepts command of the Air Warfare Center by taking the guidon to Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, U.S. Air Force Central Command commander, June 19, 2019, at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates.

Col. Thomas Wolfe, right, accepts command of the Air Warfare Center by taking the guidon to Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, U.S. Air Force Central Command commander, June 19, 2019, at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates. The center strengthens partnerships of allies and the ability to perform operations together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Thornbury)

Col. Jason Hokaj relinquishes command of the Air Warfare Center by handing the guidon to Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, U.S. Air Force Central Command commander, June 19, 2019, at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates.

Col. Jason Hokaj relinquishes command of the Air Warfare Center by handing the guidon to Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, U.S. Air Force Central Command commander, June 19, 2019, at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates. The center strengthens the partnerships of allies and the ability to perform operations together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Thornbury)

Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, U.S. Air Force Central Command commander, speaks to an audience about the accomplishments of the Air Warfare Center under the command of Col. Jason Hokaj during a change of command ceremony June 19, 2019, at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates.

Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, U.S. Air Force Central Command commander, speaks to an audience about the accomplishments of the Air Warfare Center under the command of Col. Jason Hokaj during a change of command ceremony June 19, 2019, at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates. The center strengthens partnerships of allies and the ability to perform operations together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Thornbury)

Col. Jason Hokaj, right, and Col. Thomas Wolfe shake hands during the Air Warfare Center change of command ceremony June 19, 2019, at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates.

Col. Jason Hokaj, right, and Col. Thomas Wolfe shake hands during the Air Warfare Center change of command ceremony June 19, 2019, at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates. Hokaj relinquished command and Wolfe accepted command of the AWC. The center strengthens partnerships of allies and the ability to perform operations together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Thornbury)

AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates --

Col. Thomas Wolfe took command of the Air Warfare Center during a ceremony June 19, 2019, presided by Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, U.S. Air Forces Central Command commander.

“I look forward to leading this great group of people who make up the AFCENT Air Warfare Center, who have been collaborating to advance successes, teaming on new initiatives and building on the strong relationship we have with the United Arab Emirates and our partners across the region,” said Wolfe.

The AAWC was activated in May 2007 to focus on the integration of multinational forces with an emphasis on providing pilots experience of commanding, planning and executing missions in realistic scenarios.

“Threats to our shared security and interests continue to evolve - so we must adapt to meet the challenges and opportunities they present,” he said.

The AAWC was first conceived in 2000 at the Middle East Air Symposium with a vision of a large force training course to develop tactical leaders for Gulf Cooperation Council air forces. It operates in partnership with the UAE Air Warfare Center, to host multinational exercises and the Advanced Tactical Leadership Course. 

Since its inception, the AAWC has grown to incorporate Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) as a training mission.  In 2010 the IAMD battle lab was created as a world class facility focused on joint and coalition defense training, while improving regional security and partnership capacity.  

Through military exercises and academic courses, the AAWC continues to build partnerships, tactical capabilities and interoperability with partner nations.

“Together, we’ll train as we fight, prepare for contingencies and ensure that when crisis erupts, we can respond at the speed of relevance and trust—leveraging the relationships we build here today,” said Wolfe.