505th CCW celebrates 10th anniversary

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Dave Lyle
  • 505th Command and Control Wing
It's a challenging mission to organize, train, and equip air, space and cyber forces ready to defend the U.S. and our allies. It's even more challenging to prepare all of those forces to operate on the same page. But, that's precisely what the 505th Command and Control Wing has done here for 10 years.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary March 12, the 505th CCW plays a unique role in preparing command and control warriors for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

The 505th CCW is a tenant Air Combat Command wing subordinate to the USAF Warfare Center, providing both initial and advanced command and control training for air operations centers worldwide.

Headquartered at Hurlburt Field, the 505th CCW is a dispersed wing, with more than 1,000 active-duty Airmen and soldiers, civilians, contractors, and coalition personnel serving in 14 geographically separated units across the U.S.

In addition to its basic AOC training mission at Hurlburt, the 505th CCW supports C2 training, testing, systems evaluation, and tactics, techniques, and procedures development worldwide, including live, virtual, and constructive simulation environments.

Members of the 505th CCW bring their expertise directly to operational combat and combat support missions, with members deployed around the world. The 505th CCW traces its origins back to 1947, the same year the U.S. Air Force was founded, with the standup of the 505th Aircraft Control and Warning Group at McChord Field, Wash.

So, what exactly does it mean to command and control?

According to the Department of Defense, command and control is the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission.

But, if you ask 505th CCW personnel, that's just the beginning.

"Command and control is ultimately about getting large organizations to move together in a common direction to achieve the commander's vision and operational concept," said Col. David Gaedecke, 505th CCW vice commander. "Even if you have the perfect vision, the perfect commander, and the perfect plan, you'd still need to organize people, processes, and their tools to execute that plan in the face of enemy opposition and the 'fog and friction' of war. When you execute command and control well, you're setting up the entire joint and coalition force for success."

So, what makes the 505th CCW and the C2 field unique?

"The impact that the skills we teach and develop has on our warfighting," said Gaedecke. "In C2, you're setting up the entire joint and coalition force for success when you do your job right. When you consider all of the coordination it takes to synchronize forces in five different warfighting domains [maritime, ground, air, space and cyber] all in the same time and place, supporting a coherent strategy, our scope is immense compared to tactical-level warfare. It's truly a tremendous challenge, but it's what we prepare our warfighters for every day, and we do it better than anyone else."