Air Force graduates final Multi-Domain Warfare Officers, operational planning to be incorporated into all-levels of PME

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  • By 505th Command and Control Wing Public Affairs
  • 705th Training Squadron

The 505th Command and Control Wing graduated the sixth and final class of Multi-Domain Warfare Officers, previously known by the Air Force Specialty Code designator “Thirteen Oscar,” during a live-streamed ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Florida, May 20.

For the eleven students, their graduation marks the culmination of a 20-week journey covering 840 hours of intensive joint academics and 310 hours of complex training exercises, which honed their operational-planning skills.

Reflecting the ever-changing operational environment, no two Thirteen Oscar, or 13O, courses were the same.  The five-month training course evolved with every class to ensure leading-edge training focused on preparing the students to lead the operational-planning efforts from competition through conflict. The course’s main focus areas included the command-and-control processes for the air components, employing the joint planning process for air and the joint air targeting cycle, exposure to Agile Combat Employment considerations, development of integrated air and missile defense plans, information operations, non-kinetic operations, and seminars with each joint and functional components.

The Multi-Domain Warfare Officer career field was created in 2019 in response to direction from previous Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. Goldfein, to develop dedicated operational-level C2 experts responsible for integrating joint and coalition capabilities across multiple warfighting domains. The short-lived career field made U.S. Air Force-wide impacts, with 151 total force graduates being employed at 23 locations, including nine combatant command air components, in just under three years. The increased capability these high-quality operational-level planners brought to air components across the globe highlighted to the current CSAF, Gen. C.Q. Brown, the need to expand this expertise beyond a singular career field. As a result of the desire to increase the planning proficiency of all Airmen, the USAF decided to transition away from the AFSC and towards a USAF-wide robust training partnership between Air Combat Command and Air Education and Training Command.

“Even though Class 22A graduates were not awarded the AFSC, they still received exquisite training that will benefit them, the Air Force, and other joint services, as they will be able to lead joint, operational and air planning groups,” said Maj. Marvin-Ray Arida, 705th Training Squadron Thirteen Oscar course manager.  “For those that return to the tactical- or wing-level organizations, their new understanding of how their efforts affect the operational and strategic levels of war act as a force multiplier in and of itself.”

“The students in 13O Initial Skills Training Class 22A have shown great perseverance and flexibility throughout course execution, and I am very proud of their performance,” said Lt. Col. Eric Farquhar, 705th TRS Thirteen Oscar course director.  “The level and depth of training these graduates have received sets them apart from most of their peers in the air component.  As a result, they are uniquely suited to lead planning groups and incorporate a vast array of multi-domain capabilities to help solve very complicated problems.”

The 705th TRS continues to work with joint, coalition, and total force partners to expand the ability of the USAF to plan and execute air operations for a wide range of missions from foreign humanitarian aid and disaster relief to peer-threat major combat operations.

“In conversations with air component and functional component commanders throughout the Air Force, the unique skills and diverse backgrounds of the 13Os that we produced provide critical expertise in complex joint planning environments,” said Lt. Col. Marcus Bryan, 705th TRS commander.   

The eleven newly-graduated officers will now go forward to fill critical C2 billets in air operations centers, air operations groups, air support squadrons, training squadrons, and other air component staffs across the USAF, U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Forces Korea.

In each class, there were students whose performance warrants special recognition. The distinguished graduate of Class 22A was Capt. Benjamin Durdle; Michigan Air National Guard Capt. Megan Serrano was awarded the Academic Ace Award for the highest academic average in the class.

The Odysseus Leadership Award, based academic performance and excellence in leadership, followership, and overall contributions throughout the course, was also awarded to Capt. Benjamin Durdle.

“Playing a critical role in defining, building, and transitioning the 13O AFSC is a proud lineage for the 505th CCW,” said Col. Adam Shelton, 505th Test and Training Group commander.  “To answer the ever-increasing demand from the air components for personnel who can not only plan but also integrate capabilities across all-domains, the 505th CCW is assisting in the evolution of professional military education offerings with AETC/AU [Air University] while also enhancing the C2 Warriors Course as a future capstone offering.”     

To learn more about other command and control training, visit the following website: https://intelshare.intelink.gov/sites/C2/SitePages/Home.aspx.

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