612th Air Operations Center (612 AOC)
Motto: Leading the Fight - Ever Vigilant "Omnis Vigilantia"
Plan, command, control, execute, and assess air, space, and information operations to meet Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Commander, United States Southern Command taskings across the full spectrum of military operations.
The innovative leader of AOCs for real-world execution and operational testing in air, space, and information operations to support national military strategy.
The 612 AOC provides command and control of air and space power in United States Southern Command's area of responsibility (AOR), to include 31 countries covering 1/6 of the world's land mass and 559 million people.
The 55 million dollar, 26,750 square foot facility, which opened in 2007, operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year to support joint and coalition efforts in the Caribbean, Central and South America.
To accomplish the mission, the AOC utilizes the strengths and efforts of 170 enlisted, 65 officers, and 28 DoD civilian personnel, as well as assistance from coalition nations and members of the US Army, US Navy, and the Marine Corps. The US Army provides a permanent presence at the 612 AOC with 44 soldiers assigned to its 1st Battlefield Coordination Detachment.
During large-scale contingency operations, 612 AOC facility is able to support over 1100 individuals. The synergistic efforts of the 612 AOC's five divisions (strategy, combat operations, combat plans, air mobility, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) enable execution of day- to-day operations, exercises, and real-world contingencies in support of the Commander, Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern) as the Combined Forces Air Component Commander (CFACC) for the US Southern Command AOR.
In January 2010, the 612 AOC was responsible for all flight operations within Haitian airspace following the deadly earthquake centered on Port-au-Prince. The 612 AOC orchestrated the flow of 4,958 US and international government, civilian, and non-governmental organizational relief flights into and out of Port-au-Prince. These flights delivered 11,464 short tons of relief supplies, 7,184 passengers, and evacuated 27,864 patients, adoptees and US citizens.
Additionally, the 612 AOC pioneered the first-time use of remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs) within unrestricted US airspace when RPVs were deployed to Puerto Rico to support damage assessments within Haiti. The RPV procedures developed for this relief effort are now used as the baseline for RPV support to homeland disaster relief and border patrol operations.
In support of USSOUTHCOM's Theater Security Cooperation plan, the 612 AOC partners with Caribbean, Central, and South American air forces to forge relationships that will enhance security and cooperation within the AOR. To strengthen these relationships, the 612 AOC conducts exercises with partner nations, both in Tucson and in various locations within the AOR. These exercises enhance the interoperability of the partnering air forces, and fosters the invaluable exchange of ideas, techniques, and information.
The 612 AOC is also the innovative leader of all AOCs for real-world execution and operational testing in air, space, and information operations. The expansive communications infrastructure installed at the 612 AOC makes this facility ideal for testing new command and control, communication, and intelligence systems prior to fielding the capabilities within AOC's around the globe.
Strategy Division (SRD)
The 612 AOC SRD is responsible for the development and assessment of the CFACC's strategy, plans, and orders in support of achieving CDRUSSOUTHCOM objectives and intent. The SRD is responsible for coordinating the development of command relationships between AFSOUTH, deployed forces, higher headquarters, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations. The SRD also serves as the lead AFSOUTH planner for major USSOUTHCOM and USAF exercises.
The Information Operations Team (IOT) is a specialty team within SRD and provides the CFACC and CDRUSSOUTHCOM with capabilities to influence the information environment. The IOT integrates strategic communications, network warfare, and electronic warfare effects with air and space based effects to achieve the CFACCs strategic objectives.
Combat Plans Division (CPD)
The 612 AOC CPD is responsible for developing detailed plans for air and space operations within the USSOUTHCOM AOR based on strategic guidance received from SRD. These planning efforts consist of selecting targets, building strike packages, coordinating air space, and developing special instructions. The culmination of CPD planning results in the Air Tasking Order (ATO), which tasks all assets assigned to execute during an ATO period. Annually, the 612 AOC CPD plans over 7,300 sorties in support of USSOUTHCOM operations.
Combat Operations Division (COD)
The 612 AOC COD is charged with the execution of the ATO. COD accomplishes this mission through constant monitoring of the operational environment, enabled by an integrated RADAR and communications architecture. The COD adjusts the ATO as necessary to respond to dynamic changes in the operating environment, such as weather, maintenance issues, time sensitive targets, and personnel rescue (PR) events. The COD is supported by platform and Joint Service liaison elements to ensure effective execution of the ATO.
The Joint Interface Control Cell (JICC) within COD is responsible for fusing all RADAR and tactical data link feeds coming into the AOC into a single integrated air picture. The JICC provides this air picture not only to the AOC, but also distributes it to all USSOUTHCOM components, as well as the USSOUTHCOM Common Operational Picture.
The Rescue Coordination Cell (RCC) is a specialty team within COD. The RCC is responsible for coordinating air assets in support of PR events within the USSOUTHCOM AOR. The RCC monitors for distress beacons and emergency radio transmissions 24/7 in conjunction with the Joint Personnel Recovery Coordination Center.
Air Mobility Division (AMD)
The 612 AOC AMD plans, coordinates, tasks and executes intra-theater airlift, aeromedical evacuation, and air refueling missions and tracks all inter-theater airlift within the USSOUTHCOM AOR. The 612 AOC AMD plans and tracks over 1,200 airlift missions each year. During Humanitarian Assistance / Foreign Disaster Relief operations, such as the Haiti earthquake, the 612 AOC AMD stands up the Regional Air Mobility Control Center (RAMCC). The RAMCC is responsible for fusing and scheduling all slot requests by US and international government, civilian, and non-governmental organizations to ensure the efficient and effective use of limited airfield services during a crisis.
Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Division (ISRD)
The 612 AOC ISRD provides crucial intelligence to all AOC divisions, the AFSOUTH staff, and external agencies for planning, executing, and assessing theater-wide air, space and information operations. Support is provided via various ISR products as well as by enabling predictive battlespace awareness through the integration of intelligence preparation of the operating environment, target development, ISR strategy, planning, employment, and assessment activities. The 612 AOC ISRD regularly provides intelligence support and analysis to operations worldwide.
1st Battlefield Coordination Detachment (1st BCD)
The 1st BCD is US Army South's liaison element to the AFSOUTH CFACC. The 1st BCD processes ground force requests for air support, monitors and interprets the ground force operating environment in the AOC and provides the necessary interface for the exchange of current operational and intelligence data. The 1st BCD expedites the exchange of information through face-to-face coordination with elements in the AOC and coordinates air defense and airspace control matters.