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Air Force Unveils First-Ever CONUS "WARFIGHTING" CAOC

Lt. Gen. Norman Seip; commander 12th Air Force and Air Forces Southern; along with Airmen Kyle Bridgford,12th Air Forces most junior Airmen, unveils the new Gen. James H. Doolittle Combined Air and Space Operations Center as Doolittle Raider, Maj. Gen. (Retired) David Jones and Jonna Hoppes, General James Doolittle’s granddaughter, looks on during a ribbon cutting ceremony May 9 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The building was named in honor of General James H. Doolittle; 12th Air Force’s first commander and the Doolittle Raiders for their heroic actions during World War II.

Lt. Gen. Norman Seip; commander 12th Air Force and Air Forces Southern; along with Airmen Kyle Bridgford,12th Air Forces most junior Airmen, unveils the new Gen. James H. Doolittle Combined Air and Space Operations Center as Doolittle Raider, Maj. Gen. (Retired) David Jones and Jonna Hoppes, General James Doolittle’s granddaughter, looks on during a ribbon cutting ceremony May 9 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The building was named in honor of General James H. Doolittle; 12th Air Force’s first commander and the Doolittle Raiders for their heroic actions during World War II.

More than 200 military and civilians salute the U.S. flag as the national anthem is played by the 36th Army Band, May 9, during a ribbon cutting ceremony held for the unveiling of the new James H. Doolittle Combined Air and Space Operations Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force. The building was named in honor of General James H. Doolittle, 12th Air Force’s first commander and the Doolittle Raiders for their heroic actions during World War II.  Photo by Tech. Sgt. Kerry Jackson

More than 200 military and civilians salute the U.S. flag as the national anthem is played by the 36th Army Band, May 9, during a ribbon cutting ceremony held for the unveiling of the new James H. Doolittle Combined Air and Space Operations Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force. The building was named in honor of General James H. Doolittle, 12th Air Force’s first commander and the Doolittle Raiders for their heroic actions during World War II. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Kerry Jackson

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. -- Headquarters Twelfth Air Force and Air Forces Southern unveiled the U.S. Air Forces' newest Falconer, the Gen. James H. Doolittle Combined Air and Space Operations Center, today during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The CAOC is the "nerve-center" for the Combined or Joint Forces Air Component Commander (C/JFACC) and serves as the hub of all air and space activities during combat and humanitarian operations.

"This world-class facility will serve as the home of the only continuously operational Falconer in the continental United States -- we're proud to be facilitators of such an essential weapons system," said Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, commander, Twelfth Air Force and Air Forces Southern.

The 612th Air Operations Group runs the centers day-to-day activities including disseminating and monitoring air tasking orders for on going operation in Central and South America.

The CAOC serves as the air and space component to U.S. Southern Command. The command and control capabilities of the new facility provides the Southern Command commander a tremendous capability. Staffed by a total force of Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines it is responsible for maintaining the air picture for the Southern Command, in Central and South America, as well as Caribbean operations.

"This newest CAOC will provide a tremendous capability to plan, command, control, execute, and assess both U.S. and coalition air and space operations throughout Southern Command's area of operations," said Col. John Marselus, CAOC and 612th Air Operations Group commander.

The new facility is one of five "Falconer" CAOC weapons systems used to support geographic combatant commanders worldwide-- this designates an air operations center that is fully connected and capable of facilitating air, space and information operations worldwide. The other Falconer CAOCs are located in Southwest Asia, Europe, Korea and Hawaii. Each Air Operations Center has responsibility over a specified geographic location and mission.

"The Combined Air Operations Center weapons system at Davis-Monthan is designed to support operations worldwide," added General Seip. "This CAOC is up and running helping to execute operations in the US Southern Command region, but we're ready for any contingency."

The 12th AF CAOC was officially named the General James H. Doolittle Center in honor of General James H. Doolittle, 12th Air Force's first commander and the Doolittle Raiders, for their heroic actions during World War II. The ribbon cutting and naming of the new CAOC building comes just as the Doolittle Raiders Celebrate their 65th anniversary of their skillful attack on the Japanese mainland -- a significant airpower mission in U.S. military history.

Doolittle Raider, Maj. Gen. (retired) David Jones, who in 1942 was shot down over Bizerte, North Africa, and spent two and a half years as a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft III, attended the event and said the "old guy" (General Doolittle), would have been honored. 

Families and friends of the Doolittle Raiders were also among the guest in attendance. A 1940s-era Army Air Forces B-25B bomber, like the ones flown by the Doolittle Raiders,

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