Major Richard Bong Air and Space Operations Center Stands Ready

  • Published
  • By Col. Michael Boera
  • Commander, 613th Air and Space Operations Center
There's a new weapon system in the Pacific theater. It's not the C-17 or the
F-22. I'm talking about the 613th Air and Space Operations Center (AOC). 

The 613th AOC evolved from the former provisional Kenney Warfighting Headquarters in October 2006 when 13th Air Force became a component numbered Air Force. While all the nomenclature changes and moves can get confusing, the bottom line is that Hickam has an organization ready 24/7 to support and defend. To meet this bottom line, we've adopted the motto: Ready ... Right Effects ... Right Time! 

As with any proper weapon system, the 613th AOC has a formal alpha-numeric designation, the AN/USQ-163-1 Falconer System, and a less formal name, the Major Richard Bong AOC. The formal name alludes to our capabilities as a military organization while the nickname hearkens to our heroes of the past and the constant drive for excellence. 

As the 613th AOC stood up, it was determined that the heritage of our location needed to be maintained. To do this, a focus on historical heroes of the Pacific Theater seemed a perfect fit to remind everyone of our call to service. Our Heritage namesake, Major Richard Bong, is the leading ace of World War II and an icon of Airmanship for the Pacific Theater. He is known as the Ace of Aces and his heritage is the benchmark of excellence and effort that our AOC strives to emulate. 

Within this weapon system lies more than 40 systems and applications with full spectrum capability to plan, direct, and control theater air forces engaged in all missions from humanitarian operations to full-scale war. What does this mean? Simply put, this AOC is the operational center for U.S. Pacific Command's command and control of planning, direction, and execution of air operations by assigned and attached air and space assets. As the situation dictates, and upon direction of the commander, the 613th AOC can operate as a joint or combined entity. 

The 613th fuses planning, command, and control into a dynamic strategy-to-task process that ensures Continuous Bomber Presence as well as Theater Security Package missions involving bomber and fighter deployments and employment in the Pacific to meet USPACOM strategic and operational objectives. Across the Pacific theater, your AOC keeps its eyes in the skies open for any and all threats at the same time prepared to provide assistance when needed. 

The AOC consists of five divisions: Strategy; Combat Plans; Combat Operations; Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance; and Air Mobility. The synergistic effect of these divisions working together with the staff of the General George C. Kenney Headquarters (13th AF) produces an air effect that cannot be matched. 

In day-to-day operations, the Bong AOC takes the direction of the 13th AF Commander and those above him and then executes this guidance from cradle to grave. We take the concepts provided by leadership, develop a strategy to produce the affects needed, plan out the best course of action to deliver the strategic options, and then execute the plan. Wrapped into this is the constant input from our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance personnel to keep us on track and provide overlapping assistance. Our deliverable is the Air Tasking Order distributed through the Theater Battle Management Core System. 

The effectiveness of our new capability has been recognized with the assignment of key theater responsibilities such as Integrated Air and Missile Defense; critical ongoing support to Joint Task Force-519 for all contingency planning; real world humanitarian aid and disaster response operations such as the Indonesian Earthquake Relief and the Philippine mud slide relief; playing a pivotal role in sensitive intelligence mission planning and execution; operational missions like Operation Deep Freeze, military support to the National Science Foundation scientific expedition on Antarctica; and selection as the lead organization for planning the largest flying exercise in the Pacific, Exercise Valiant Shield 07. 

To keep our talons sharp and our talents honed, the AOC participates in multiple exercises and operations with foreign allies and sister services. Exercises Valiant Shield, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), Keen Edge, Yama Sakura, and Global Lightening are only a few of the many exercises your AOC has taken part in. Some of the exercises are primarily computer based with no live flying while others include a mixture of computer simulations and live-fly operations. 

The constant participation has contributed to the 613th AOC acquiring immense operational experience in an extremely short time period. These experiences combined with the well-practiced processes, technology, and personnel make it the Ace of Aces of the Falconer weapon system and ensure we are "Ready with the Right Effects at the Right Time" when called upon.