Air Force Trains Operational Planners in All Fields for Air Components > Edwards Air Force Base > News
the 505th Command and Control Wing graduated from the fifth class of Multi-Area Warfare Officers, also known as their Air Force specialty code “Thirteen Oscar,” in a ceremony broadcast live at Hurlburt Field, Florida, November 19.
For the eighteen students, graduation marks the culmination of a 20-week journey spanning 840 hours of joint intensive courses and 310 hours of complex training exercises that honed their operational planning skills.
The Multi-Domain Warfare Officer career stream was created in line with the Air Force Chief of Staff’s vision to develop experts dedicated to operational-level command and control, or C2 , tasked with integrating joint and coalition capabilities across multiple combat domains.
These eighteen students represent a wide variety of AFSCs from several major Air Force commands, geographic combatant commands, and functional commands. In addition to active duty U.S. Air Force officers, nine members of the class represent the U.S. Space Force, Air Reserve Component, and Air National Guard units from New York, Virginia, Michigan, and from Illinois.
The course, now in its fifth iteration, has evolved with each class to provide cutting-edge training focused on preparing students to lead operational planning efforts in a complex and uncertain global environment.
Major focus areas of the course include Air Operations Center, Air Force personnel, joint air planning process, joint air targeting cycle, combat employment agile, integrated air and missile defense, information operations, non-kinetic operations, and seminars with each joint and functional component.
“These academics lead through simulated scenarios on a series of different types of major operations in which each student is placed on a team that performs multiple rehearsals of planning process cycles,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Benjamin Griffith, 705th Training Squadron director of weapons and tactics, Hurlburt Field, Florida. “Along the way, the plans must be approved by the C/JFACC [combined joint force air component commander] and involves planning across the Air Force and joint entities.
Class 21B also represents a number of firsts in its class. The very first joint partner, U.S. Army Capt. Craig Simmons, represented the Michigan Army National Guard.
“Expertise and partnerships with joint forces are critical to mission success when it comes to holistic approaches to operational planning for air component commanders,” said USAF Maj. Mark Scott, 705th TRS Thirteen Oscar Course Director. “The presence of the first joint student was invaluable in providing our air component planners with a different perspective to ensure that operational level planning is not only synchronized, but integrated across all components”
Scott continued, “The 705th Training Squadron continues to work with joint, coalition and total force partners to expand the reach and impact of 13Os in the field.
Another first for Class 21B was the graduation of a non-AFSC awarded student, USAF Captain John Fernandez.
“To address operational planning knowledge gaps across the Air Force, the door is opening wider for Air Force officers to retain previously held AFSCs while benefiting from the full training complement of all areas and joint operational planning,” said USAF Lt. Col. Ernie Chen, 705th TRS operational warfare flight director. “These students will be able to provide valuable operational information to their tactical units and will be well prepared for future C2 operational assignments.”
Chen continued, “The overall goal of enabling non-AFSC graduates is to generate greater knowledge of thoughtful Airmen in all fields and expand the pool of operational planners available to air component commanders while maintaining tactical expertise.”
Another method designed to provide operational planning and operator experience to air component commanders is the Multi-Domain Warfare Officer Instructor Refresher Training Course.
Four air/space component staffs sent their 13Os the IUT course to be trained on how to teach operational planning to their current and future duty assignments. These IUT students also learn about debriefing at the operational level, with the aim of developing the culture of debriefing within the AOCs, which results in increased feedback and continuous improvement from planning to execution.
“We [705th TRS] can only produce 50-60 13O per year. The handful of 13O instructors will act as a force multiplier within the operations centers and staffs. These graduates will be able to increase the performance of their teammates by providing top notch operational C2 OJTs [on the job training] and inculcate a culture of debriefing at the operational level. These instructors provide a gateway into operational planning TTPs [tactics, techniques and procedures] for current operational C2 planners, a mechanism to maintain standards and increase the total number of personnel ready to plan operations across all domains for air component commanders,” said USAF Lt. Col. Benjamin Lee , director of operations of the 705th TRS.
The diversity of backgrounds represented in both initial skills and instructor refresher training is one of its key strengths in providing experts in operational planning and execution to air component commanders around the world.
“In conversations with air component and functional component commanders across the Air Force, the unique skills and diverse backgrounds of the 13Os we produce provide critical expertise in planning environments. complex joint forces,” said USAF Lt. Col. Marcus Bryan, commander of the 705th TRS. . “It also brings a huge signal of demand for even more experienced operational planners, which we will meet with our next set of thirteen Oscar classes, joint partner graduates and AFSC non-awarded graduates to bring unique perspectives to commanders of component.”
The eighteen newly graduated officers will now fill critical C2 positions in AOCs, Air Operations Groups, Air Support Squadrons, Training Squadrons and other air component staffs across the world. ‘USAF as well as the National Space Defense Center and the USSF.
In every class there are students whose performance deserves special recognition. The distinguished Class 21B graduates were USAF Maj. Holen Matthews and Illinois Air National Guard Capt. Daniel Wallace. USAF Captain Ryan Oweida received the Academic Ace Award for the highest academic average in the class.
The Odysseus Leadership Award, based on a combination of academic performance and excellence in leadership, follow-through, and overall contributions throughout the course, was awarded to USAF Major Holen Matthews.
The next class of Multi-Domain Warfare Officer Initial Training begins in January 2022 with Class 22A and aims to continue to improve operational C2 to provide solutions for Air Component Commands.
To learn more about career field or cross-field warfare officer training, visit the following websites: https://intelshare.intelink.gov/sites/C2/13O/SitePages/Home.aspx and https://www.milsuite.mil/book/groups/13O.
“The landscape of how we generate, deploy and sustain forces in the joint environment against traditional and non-traditional threats is changing and we must meet these challenges head on,” Bryan said. “To that end, our cadre of instructors continues to be at the forefront of these changes and is accelerating how we provide qualified and competent operational planners to component commanders equipped with the skills to meet these challenges.”
The 705th TRS reports to the 505th Test and Training Group and 505th Command and Control Wing, both are headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Florida.