JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --
Strategic aerial support and combat missions occur
daily around the world; and Airmen at the Air Combat Command, Command Center
work 24-7 to ensure that their major command’s commander and his staff are well
informed of the statuses of their MAJCOM missions.
While a command center is similar to a command
post1, the ACC Command Center works on a much
larger scale gathering internal and external information that affects all of
the command’s bases, not just a single installation. The center then gives all
that data to the COMACC enabling him to make informed decisions and lead his
command with the proper information.
“On a daily basis,
we are coordinating throughout the MAJCOM to make sure that all the pertinent
information is getting to the commander and the command staff,” said U.S. Air
Force Master Sgt. Lonnie Ellis, ACC Command Center superintendent. “Without us
getting that to them, they can’t do their job efficiently and properly lead the
According to Ellis, the seven Airman working at the ACC
Command Center, must always ensure at least one person is on shift to ensure
the ability to funnel command, control, communications and information support is
always available to their command. After
each 12-hour shift, to avoid any lapses in continuing missions, the Airmen also
brief each other about the prior shift.
The information they pass along to the command and
each other, while not always known to the public, ranges from RPA
GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions2 employments
to the status of training
missions involving 5th generation assets and allied forces.
Some of the information also has to do with unforeseen
factors like weather. For instance, in the event of a hurricane at any ACC
installation, the ACC Command Center would funnel vital information about the
incoming weather hazard to the respective base affected so that the
installation commander could make informed decisions about how to prepare for
such inclement weather.
Such details about potential weather hazards could
influence decisions ranging from base and flight statuses to mission
According to U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Charles Poole,
ACC Command Center NCO in charge of training, while the information they
receive mostly deals with ACC bases, some data can affect the Air Force as a
whole and may even reach the National Military Command Center3.
“Command and control is critical across not just Air
Force but Department of Defense wide,” said Poole. “We help the leadership make
informed decisions and keep information flowing up and down the chain of
As the Air Force continues to prepare for potential
near peer warfare operations, the
ACC Command Center Airmen continue to keep an eye on the status of air combat
command posts provide command, control, communications and information support
to ensure positive control of assets.
Joint Direct Attack Munition is a guidance tail kit that converts existing
unguided free-fall bombs into accurate, adverse weather "smart"
munitions. With the addition of a new tail section that contains an inertial
navigational system and a global positioning system guidance control unit, JDAM
improves the accuracy of unguided, general purpose bombs in any weather
condition. JDAM is a joint U.S. Air Force and Department of Navy program.
NMCC is essentially similar to the ACC Command Center but instead they are a
command center for nationwide events.