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ACC commander visits Kirtland prior to start of virtual exercise
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Lt. Col. Daniel Pepper explains to Gen. William M. Fraser III the benefits the Distributed Mission Operations Center provides Dec. 7, 2010, at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. General Fraser toured the DMOC prior to the start of Virtual Flag 11-1. The exercises are conducted four times a year, with one dedicated to coalition warfare. Colonel Pepper is the 705th Combat Training Squadron commander and General Fraser III is the commander of Air Combat Command. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Sidney Wells)
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ACC commander visits Kirtland prior to start of virtual exercise

Posted 12/8/2010   Updated 12/9/2010 Email story   Print story


12/8/2010 - KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --  -- Gen. William M. Fraser III, Air Combat Command commander, visited the 705th Combat Training Squadron here Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Day, prior to the start of a classified Pacific scenario exercise.

Virtual Flag 11-1 is a joint forces exercise held in the squadron's Distributed Mission Operations Center. VF exercises are conducted four times a year, with one dedicated to coalition warfare. The virtual exercises are part of the 505th Command and Control Wing's, Hurlburt Field, Fla., mission to improve warfighter capability through command and control testing, tactics development and training.

VF is ACC's only training venue that exercises the entire joint theater air-to-ground system from the joint force air component commander to the individual Airman on the ground directing effects across the battlespace. For VF exercises, the 705th CTS, known in the virtual training world as the DMOC, links simulators, modeling and simulation programs and computer generated forces across 15 time zones. VF 11-1 will involve hundreds of joint warfighters in a large force, integrated joint fight.

"The ability to command and control air, space and cyber forces in accordance with the joint force commander's objectives is the crux of this exercise," said Lt. Col. Doug Horne, 705th CTS director of operations.

According to Colonel Horne it's easy to do when all things go according to plan, but the key is to practice when they do not. "Virtual Flag emphasizes degraded operations across kinetic and non-kinetic employment, as well as C2 across the operational and tactical-levels of war. Only by practicing degraded operations on a daily basis will our joint team be prepared for any future conflict" Colonel Horne said.

The VF emphasis on degraded environment operations addresses only one key component of ACC's readiness priorities. While each VF is unique in scope, scale and number of participants, the planning and execution begins by addressing all of ACC's priorities.

"From there, we meld the individual training objectives of each participant to the JFACC's plan and develop an exercise that includes of all their objectives," said Lt. Col. Dan Pepper, 705th CTS commander. "General Fraser was impressed with the scope and scale of VF 11-1's exercise planning and the integration of all objectives into one coherent, exercise plan."

The general was also impressed with the lessons learned portion of the exercise, expressing "we need to make sure we avoid adding to more lessons observed instead of true lessons learned and making sure we do something with them."

VF lessons learned are feeding the expanding 505th CCW's Lessons Learned Program that will include major exercises like Virtual, Red and Blue Flags and all Air Force operational-level C2 exercises and operations. The 505th CCW program will then integrate into the Air Force's Lessons Learned Program. VF 11-1 concludes Dec. 16.

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