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AFCENT hosts ‘Coalition Week’, welcomes partners to Shaw AFB

Coalition leaders from multiple countries gather for a conference at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, April 9, 2021. Senior military representatives from nine countries traveled to Shaw AFB this week to participate in “Coalition Week,” a series of events focused on showcasing 9th Air Force’s (U.S. Air Forces Central) ability to distribute operations and command and control airpower from more than one location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. E’Lysia Wray/Released)

Coalition leaders from multiple countries gather for a conference at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, April 9, 2021. Senior military representatives from nine countries traveled to Shaw AFB this week to participate in “Coalition Week,” a series of events focused on showcasing 9th Air Force’s (U.S. Air Forces Central) ability to distribute operations and command and control airpower from more than one location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. E’Lysia Wray/Released)

Maj. Garret Schmitz, F-16 Viper Demonstration Team commander and pilot, poses with a member from the French Air and Space Force at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, April 8, 2021. Senior military representatives from nine countries traveled to Shaw AFB this week to participate in “Coalition Week,” a series of events focused on showcasing 9th Air Force’s (U.S. Air Forces Central) ability to distribute operations and command and control airpower from more than one location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. E’Lysia Wray/Released)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Garret Schmitz, F-16 Viper Demonstration Team commander and pilot, poses with a member from the French Air and Space Force at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, April 8, 2021. Senior military representatives from nine countries traveled to Shaw AFB this week to participate in “Coalition Week,” a series of events focused on showcasing 9th Air Force’s (U.S. Air Forces Central) ability to distribute operations and command and control airpower from more than one location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. E’Lysia Wray/Released)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --

Senior military representatives from nine countries traveled to Shaw Air Force Base this week to participate in “Coalition Week,” a series of events focused on showcasing 9th Air Force’s (U.S. Air Forces Central) ability to distribute operations and command and control airpower from more than one location.

Twenty six coalition members, who are currently assigned to the Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, traveled here to attend numerous partnership events hosted by 9th AF (AFCENT) and the 20th Fighter Wing.

“Everything AFCENT does starts and ends with the coalition,” said Lt. Gen. Greg Guillot, commander of 9th Air Force (AFCENT). “We work side by side with each of these nations in the AOR, so I’m thrilled we have the opportunity to host them here at Shaw and allow them to see first-hand AFCENT’s ability to seamlessly distribute operations between the two CAOCs. It’s equally important for them to see we have the support mechanisms in place to operate here, if required, in the same way we do at Al Udeid.”

The week-long event included AFCENT mission briefings, immersion days with both 9 AF (AFCENT) Headquarters and the 20th Fighter Wing, and a tour of Shaw’s Combined Air and Operations Center.

“In addition to assuring our partners that we can effectively control the air war through distributed operations from multiple locations, these engagements are a vital component of maintaining strong, mutually beneficial relationships with our allies and partners,” Guillot said.

Between the two locations, AFCENT, in conjunction with its coalition partners, provides the command and control of airpower throughout the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility; a 20 nation region stretching from Northeast Africa across the Middle East to Central and South Asia.

“This visit wouldn't have been successful without the outstanding support of the 20th Fighter Wing, U.S. Army Central, and the surrounding community of Sumter,” Guillot said. “We're very appreciative of everything they've done to ensure 9 AF (AFCENT)’s coalition partners received a warm welcome."