Federation is enhancing efficiency, maintaining effectiveness of AOCs

  • Published
  • By SSgt River Bruce
  • ACC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. -- Members from Air Combat Command’s 700th Air Support Squadron in conjunction with Air Operations Centers from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona and Shaw AFB, SC, conducted an Air Tasking Order Federation Experiment from August 22 – 26.

An ATO is a document that lists aircraft sorties for a fixed 24-hour period detailing call signs, aircraft types, and mission types (such as close air support or air refueling). Traditionally, ATOs are produced by the AOC that holds responsibility of the missions within their area of responsibility, like the Combined AOC solely producing ATOs for combat sorties out of Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

ATO federation as a concept offers AOCs the option of outsourcing ATO production to geographically separated AOCs. 

During the experiment, Senior Airman Kimberly Bradley, 700th ASUS ATO production technician, produced ATOs for the 609th AOC at Shaw and the 612th AOC at Davis-Monthan.

“I’ve experienced how hectic the ops tempo can be within AOCs,” said Bradley. “Having AOCs trained and ready to help each other is mutually beneficial, alleviates stress, and provides a contingency plan for network outages.”

Bradley said the transferring of ATOs to each AOC was seamless because prior to the experiment, she spent months training on the separate AOC's unique processes.

ACC plans to experiment further, federating other AOC functions, increasing interoperability with AOCs around the globe.

“This round of experimentation focused on proving that personnel not assigned to a unit can execute certain functions of an AOC,” said Lt. Col. Shannon Greene, 700th ASUS director of operations. “The next item will broaden the scope to federate completely with systems and personnel at a separate location. Distribution is already being performed by many AOCs; this experiment was meant to prove that federation is possible with the technology and personnel we have now.”