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4th FW Airmen set up command, control facility for Operation Rapid Forge

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, set up tents for a mobile command and control facility, during Operation Rapid Forge, at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 10, 2019. Service members from several career fields, officers and enlisted ranks, worked together to build the facility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, carry tent frames at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 10, 2019. The Airmen were part of a team that set up a command and control camp for Operation Rapid Forge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, carry a tent canvas to set up a mobile command and control facility at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 10, 2019. The facility construction consisted of civil engineers working with a mixed group of individuals from several different career fields during Operation Rapid Forge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, set up a tent for a command and control facility at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 10, 2019. The Airmen built the facility as part of Operation Rapid Forge to test the U.S. Air Force's ability to set up rapidly in an austere environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, build a tent inside a protective aircraft shelter at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 10, 2019. The tent was one of several built as part of Operation Rapid Forge, testing the U.S. Air Force's ability to quickly construct a command and control facility in an austere environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, lay out a tent ceiling in preparation to finish setting up one of several tents used as a command and control facility during Operation Rapid Forge at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 10, 2019. The Airmen built the facility to test their ability to adapt and operate anywhere the mission requires. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, use rope to pull a canvas ceiling over the frame of a tent to be used as a mobile command and control facility during Operation Rapid Forge at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 10, 2019. The ability to rapidly set up a command and control facility gives the U.S. Air Force the freedom to avoid being tied to a specific location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Cope)

A U.S. Air Force Airman from the 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, moves a cargo container after Airmen emptied supplies from it to set up a mobile command and control facility at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 10, 2019. Service members set up the facility for use during Operation Rapid Forge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, coordinate setup of a command and control facility at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 10, 2019. The facility was one of the results of an effort to exercise new capabilities during Operation Rapid Forge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Cope)

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.”