What It Takes. Air Force Command of Joint Operations
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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The U.S. Air Force has devoted considerable resources toward building its component headquarters, with good reason These organizations develop air campaign plans and manage their execution during crises and conflicts. But many operations are led by joint task force JTF commanders, and prominent members of the defense community have called upon each of the services to be prepared to provide JTF headquarters.1 The purpose of this report is to help the Air Force better understand the role and demands of JTF headquarters. To play a leading role in such operations, the Air Force will need a good understanding of what it takes to provide overall command of them. Air Force leaders and policy papers have stated that Air Force components of combatant commands will be able to serve as JTF headquarters if called upon to do so. However, beyond these intentions there has been relatively little consideration within the service about how the Air Force should go about providing JTF commanders and staffs. Granted, there have been some instances in which Air Force units have provided the core of JTF headquarters. However, these have tended to be the exception rather than the rule, and the Air Force could do considerably more to prepare its people for this role.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics