PACAF COVID Webpage

HomeNewsArticle Display

Reserve Airmen, PACAF distribute ops for AFFOR exercise

713th Combat Operations Squadron

713t Combat Operations Squadron Patch

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --

            Reserve Airmen from the 713th Combat Operations Squadron supported Headquarters Pacific Air Forces thousands of miles away for an Air Force Forces exercise, Feb. 3-11. More than 25 Reserve Airmen worked via distributed operations from Beale Air Force Base, Calif. with PACAF’s AFFOR staff at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

“This was about 713th Airmen taking personal pride and initiative to ‘accelerate change’ and overcome adversity,” said Col. Xaviera Slocum, 713th COS commander. “When told just three months prior that our squadron couldn’t travel to Hawaii for the exercise, our Airmen used their innovation skills to turn our Beale AFB facility into a distributed ops node for PACAF and still accomplish our mission.”

            Hawaii and PACAF’s COVID-19 safety protocols made travel and on-island participation from the 713th near impossible. The idea of distributed ops came up at the 713th in November, and both planners and leadership worked with PACAF to figure out a way for the Reserve unit to participate in the exercise from Beale.

 “We needed to find a way to effectively support ops, follow Beale policies, and keep everyone safe,” said Maj. Jen Old, 713th COS senior intelligence officer. “Our planners worked with public health and other organizations to get us the right facilities and come up with a schedule that met communication checks and exercise training. They did a lot of great coordination and planning.”

For the 713th to effectively participate, it needed to align its communication infrastructure and technology with PACAF’s.

            “A big concern for PACAF and the 713th was our communication situation at our Beale facility and whether or not we had the connectivity to plug into processes at Hickam,” said Old. “Many agencies with the 9th Reconnaissance Wing and 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group at Beale AFB stepped up to support our squadron in a big way. The 9th Communications and 48th Intelligence squadrons jumped at the opportunity to help bring our networks up and running which increased our communications capabilities to a point where we were confident of our connectivity back to PACAF.”

            With communication systems at Beale aligned with PACAF’s, 713th Reserve Airmen were able to integrate and support their active duty counterparts for the exercise, much as they have done for years using on-island participation.

            “We learned a lot about reach back support and distributed ops from this exercise,” said Lt. Col. Frank Welton, PACAF Air Ops and Special Capabilities Division deputy chief and Exercise PACAF Battle Staff deputy director. “We were able to smoothly team with the 713th to co-lead battle shifts, key meetings, and briefings via distributed command and control.”

            Exercise PACAF Battle Staff Air Ops agreed.

            “While there are lessons learned from this exercise when it comes to distributed ops with Beale, we were able to have that reach back and coordination with the 713th,” said Lt. Col. Josh Schecht, PACAF C-17 Standardization/Evaluation Program chief andEexercise PACAF Battle Staff ops planner. “The connectivity was such that we made the 713th the lead for a number of taskers and relied on their continuity of expertise when it comes to the AFFOR.”

Distributed ops from Beale will now be an option for the 713th to provide AFFOR support when it comes to future PACAF exercises.

“Our Reserve Airmen know, to succeed in future competition and conflict, operational agility and operational resiliency will require a distributed C2 capability,” said Slocum. “For the 713th COS, creating the ability to participate via distributive ops is a revolutionary and historic event. PACAF counted on the 713th to create and test this system to allow us to bring our seamless AFFOR expertise and I am incredibly proud of our Airmen for coming through with five-star customer service. I am confident this is just the beginning as we gather our lessons learned and grow our capabilities to support PACAF exercises from home station.”

One of the 713th COS’ missions is to augment PACAF’s AFFOR staff during a crisis or contingency. In order to stay ready when called upon, the unit annually participates in a PACAF AFFOR staff exercise.

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.