SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --
U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, built a mobile command and control facility for Operation Rapid Forge, July 10, 2019 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.
Setting up the command and control facility in an austere environment allowed the testing of new concepts for the Air Force.
“What that allows us to do is it gives us adaptability to go anywhere that we want,” said the 4th Civil Engineer Squadron commander. “Take an open patch of ground somewhere that we have enough space for an airfield to operate, land and receive aircraft. We can put a command and control element in that spot and be able to stand up an operation and go to work from there.”
The success of the mobile command and control facility provides wings additional operational options.
“Up to this point, wings have only been force providers,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Donn Yates, 4th FW commander. "Now, there is the possibility of looking at wings being integrated operations, supporting the commander of USAFE, the theater joint force air component commander, with being able to provide limited command and control in emergency situations.”
A mobile command and control facility provides adaptability and resiliency for U.S. forces.
“Pushing a command and control node forward gives us adaptability and unpredictability,” said the CE commander. “We can potentially move anywhere on the battlefield and our adversaries will not know, and we will be able to keep them guessing to be able to identify us as a potential target. It gives us resiliency because if we were to have one area become inoperable, we can pick up, move and become operational once again.”
Yates said Air Force leadership speaks about having light, lean and agile operations with the ability to move at a moment’s notice. The expeditionary forces on site operating out of the tents demonstrates the ability to set up anywhere, fast and mobile, without being tied to a fixed location. This allows the Air Force to project anywhere in theater.
The mobile command and control facility is one of several new capabilities being explored with Operation Rapid Forge.
“We are coming out and exercising new capabilities to learn and adapt our warfighting and constructs that we employ,” said the CE commander. “We are testing some cutting edge ideas and seeing if they work. From this, there will be many lessons learned that we will be able to take back and influence our warfighting constructs moving forward as a force.”