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Supporting Air and Space Expeditionary Forces: Expanded Operational Architecture for Combat Support Execution Planning and Control

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During the past decade, the U.S. military has supported continuous deployments of forces around the world, often on very short notice and for prolonged duration, to meet the needs of a wide range of peacekeeping and humanitarian missions or major contingency operations. The pattern of varied and fast-breaking regional crises appears to be the model for the foreseeable future and has prompted the United States to reassess how it prepares, maintains, and employs its military forces. In response to this operating environment, the Air Force has reorganized into an Air and Space Expeditionary Force AEF. The AEF concept divides the Air Force into 10 relatively equal groups i.e., AEFs of people and equipment. In any given 90-day period, two AEFs or one AEF pair are vulnerable to deployment to fulfill Air Force deployment requirements. The aim of this concept is to replace a permanent forward presence with forces that are primarily stationed in the continental United States CONUS and can be tailored rapidly, deployed quickly, employed immediately, and sustained indefinitely. These AEF global force projection goals present significant challenges to the current combat support CS system. CS is the collection of people, equipment, and processes that create, protect, and sustain air and space forces across the full range of military operations. In addition to the importance of CS, command and control C2 has been identified as a key component of the AEF Agile Combat Support ACS system that needs further development. Joint doctrine defines C2 as the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission. CSC2 thus, is the exercise of authority and direction over CS forces and resources to meet operational objectives. This work expands on the work of Leftwich et al., which presented initial concepts for guiding the development of a CSC2 operational architecture for the AEF.

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  • Administration and Management
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Command, Control and Communications Systems

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