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Air Ops CoE in BARKHAN operation / AOCC Communication Challenge



Air Ops CoE in BARKHAN operation


During three months, a NATO Air Operations Center of Excellence (AO CoE) officer was deployed at the BARKHANE’s Air Operations Coordination Center (AOCC) in Tchad, Africa.

The AOCC is a satellite organization of the Joint Force Air Component (JFAC). This entity is planned enhance the interactions between the JFAC and the CCs. For BARKHANE as the JFAC is located outside the theatre of operations the complexity of exchanges put AOCC as a key element of air operations:  eyes and ears of the COM JFAC in theatre.

Mainly AOCC is the Air Component Command (ACC) team within the Land Component Command (LCC) and AOCC’s day-to-day business is to perform synchronization between land forces and air capabilities both operating from and in theater. Therefore AOCC is directly responsible for coordination of Close Air Support (CAS) and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, as well as direct contribution to the airspace’s control.

Indeed the focus point is to fill the gap between requirements on specific areas and using of key assets within the whole theatre. Thus COMMUNICATION became the alpha and omega of successful effect’s integration between Component Commands.

Key take away:  AOCC officer’s job is like linking two pipes in order to carry some water.  The pipes are not the same: different diameters, water moving in different directions with dissimilar speed. Adding complexity, there is no guarantee that either pipe is not obstructed, broken or kinked which could affect drastically the flow of water.

By the way becoming from AO COE, using operational experience and a great sense of humor provides you everything you need to successfully enabled communication and mutual understanding with army guys….supporting easy “water” flow inside BARKHANE’s body.