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Command and Control of Joint Air Operations through Mission Command

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Journal Article

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609th Air Operations Center Al Udeid AB Qatar

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For centuries, the US armed forces have endeavored to find the perfect balance between higher headquarters control and delegation of authority to subordinate units and commanders. Whether framed as the US Air Forces tenet of centralized control decentralized execution or the US Armys mission command, the underlying concept of entrusting Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen with increased responsibility and promoting initiative is the foundation of this much needed effort. To effectively command and control C2 joint air operations in todays contested and degraded environment while preparing for the volatile threats of tomorrow, the Air Force and joint community must instill the concept and principles of mission command in their culture. Consequently, this article discusses the origins and concepts of mission command, addresses and applies the principles of mission command to the Air Force and joint C2 decentralized operating environment, and outlines the C2 architecture systems, processes, and philosophy of command required to enable mission command effectively.

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