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103rd Air and Space Operations Group troops enhance capabilities in AOR

Maj. Robert O'Connor, 2nd Lt. Chad Montague, Master Sgt. Dan Hughes and Staff Sgt. Tim D'Amico of the 103rd Air intelligence Squadron and Master Sgt. Ben Abbot and Master Sgt. Pete Demakis of the 103rd Air Operations Squadron stand with their team members from the 710th Combat Operations Squadron and the 609th Air Operations Center Detachment 1 in front of the Combined Air Operations Center, Southwest Asia, early September 2009.  The team was tasked to field test command and control capabilities there.  (photo courtesy of 2nd Lt. Chad Montague)

Maj. Robert O'Connor, 2nd Lt. Chad Montague, Master Sgt. Dan Hughes and Staff Sgt. Tim D'Amico of the 103rd Air intelligence Squadron and Master Sgt. Ben Abbot and Master Sgt. Pete Demakis of the 103rd Air Operations Squadron stand with their team members from the 710th Combat Operations Squadron and the 609th Air Operations Center Detachment 1 in front of the Combined Air Operations Center, Southwest Asia, early September 2009. The team was tasked to field test command and control capabilities there. (photo courtesy of 2nd Lt. Chad Montague)

BRADLEY ANG BASE, East Granby, Conn. -- Members of the 103rd Air and Space Operations Group returned from Southwest Asia Sept. 10, where they tested the command and control capabilities in the region. 

Their efforts augmented the command and control capabilities in the Air Force's Central theater of operations which provides the command and control of airpower throughout Iraq, Afghanistan and 18 other nations.

"This mission was a follow-up to a previous deployment of 103rd AOG members that focused on setting up emerging command and control capabilities for air operations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility," said Col. Peter DePatie, commander, 103rd AOG. "This deployment put those enhancements through the paces, ensuring full functionality and support of the ongoing air operations in the theater." 

The CAOC is the senior command and control element of the Theater Air Control System and operational level focal point for command and control during combined and joint air operations. This most recently deployed team represented a number of diverse specialties within the CAOC weapon system and the 103rd AOG. 

Serving as part of the operational bridge that integrates and synchronizes strategic decisions to tactical level execution, the AOG is comprised of a vast array of people, programs and processes ready to execute day-to-day combined air and space operations and provide rapid reaction, positive control, coordination and de-confliction of weapons systems.

"We all had a role to play on this deployment," said 2nd Lt. Chad Montague, intelligence officer, 103rd Air Intelligence Squadron of the 103rd AOG. "It's a great feeling to put our training to work in a way that has a direct impact on Air Force operations." 

The Connecticut Air National Guardsmen were part of a team that "...did some absolutely fantastic work out here," said Lt. Col. Aaron Lehman, commander, 609th AOC Detachment 1. The team, including members of the 103rd AOG, 710th COS and the 609th AOC Detachment 1, contributed in ways that were unexpected, said Lehman. 

Without them, this new facility would not have opened as scheduled. 

"Our folks have been getting a great deal of recognition for their efforts," said DePatie. 

"Our communications team worked hard to improve our capabilities and our Operations and Intelligence team put those results to the test--I'm very proud of all of their contributions."