HomeNewsArticle Display

20th FW CP trains for expeditionary future

A picture of a stack of radios used by the C2 node.

A stack of AN/PRC-152 radios sit on a surface at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, July 30, 2020. The radios enable command and control Airmen to perform remote satellite communication and transmit messages. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --

The brain only functions as well as the system designed to carry its messages. On any given installation, there is a team of vigilant Airmen trained to be experts in dispersing vital communication to every single member of their mission.

Over the past two years, the 20th Fighter Wing Command Post has begun the process of adapting their Airmen to be capable of completing their command and control mission in a multitude of future arenas.

At the 2018 Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein said, “It is time to get back to our expeditionary roots.”

Since then, the CP began the odyssey of ensuring our controllers are fit to fight in any future setting. An integral step in gaining agility is ditching the traditional brick and mortar setup.

“The reality is, going into future state on state conflicts, we can’t be as dependent on infrastructure,” said Capt. Jose Davis, 20th Fighter Wing C2 operations chief.

Davis began sending a few controllers to other locations to begin conducting adaptive command and control operations, as well as using mobile technology like mobile secret internet protocol router network in addition to radios with line-of-sight and satellite communication capabilities.

“We do standard command post operations here at Shaw, but now we will also have the training to be able to do specialized C2,” said Davis. “We are taking what’s considered specialized and normalizing it across our career field.”

After finding initial success with Airmen conducting C2 outside of their office setting, they continued to work towards expeditionary capabilities and set a new normal within their own controller community.

“You know the saying is ‘you train as you fight’,” said Davis. “We’re trying to create something from concept into reality… we’re seizing opportunities for agile C2 ops to be conducted.”

For the controllers themselves, the ability to acclimate quickly is imperative to mission success.

“Agile operations initiatives are a great way forward for the 1C3 career field because it will allow us to stay ahead of the curve,” said Staff Sgt. Amanda Gorbet, 20th Fighter Wing noncommissioned officer in charge of C2 operations. “Adaptive basing is becoming more relevant and we as a C2 node need to be able to meet that need.”

Participation in adaptive basing exercises such as Agile Weasel and Razor Talon allowed for the command post to further enhance their skills and work alongside other developing conceptual operations.

The newly formed Combat Maintenance Team, another 20th FW agile initiative of diverse Air Force specialty codes designed to work in austere locations, depended on combined efforts with the command post to successfully install systems necessary for communication with the forward operating base.

“The 20th Fighter Wing is supporting the National Defense Strategy which emphasizes the need for agile command and control capabilities,” said Col. Lawrence Sullivan, 20th Fighter Wing commander. “Our command post has worked diligently to ensure its C2 capabilities can function in dynamic environments to achieve competitive advantage over near-peer adversaries in future conflicts.”

Warfare is constantly adapting and modernizing. Davis said as our enemies continue to display new capabilities and threats to our nation’s defenses, his Airmen will continue to rise and meet those challenges head on.