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Team Dyess leads the way with ICC concept

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- A seven-man team on a fact-finding mission visited Dyess the last week in March to learn how the wing is using the installation control center concept.

The team, made up of members of the 505th Command and Control Wing; the Air Force Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Center; and the Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency were here to write the procedures for unit-level command and control and further staff an Air Force enabling concept and new Air Force Instruction for ICC operations.

The team was interested in the wing’s insight, both good and bad, of the wing’s process for command and control at the unit level during the recent Phase II operational readiness inspection. They spent the week interviewing dozens of ORI participants about the processes they used and the lessons they learned. They also collected and copied a number of continuity books and checklists that the 7th Bomb Wing uses in the ICC.

In particular, they were looking at the wing’s approach in using and integrating unit-level Theater Battle Management Core System, commonly referred to as TBMCS-UL.

“The purpose of the ICC concept is to establish a standardized United States Air Force installation command and control capability in both fixed and expeditionary operational environments,” said Lt. Col. Calvin Romrell, 705th Training Squadron, Hulbert Field, Fla. “This concept represents an evolution of Headquarters Air Combat Command’s Expeditionary Operations Center Enabling Concept, which focused on improving expeditionary command and control.”

Colonel Romrell said the original task to “baseline expeditionary operations” has expanded with subsequent warfighter inputs and Homeland Security directives and has driven an expansion to encompass home station as well as deployed C2 operations. This change led to the concept development of an installation control center, which provides the commander of a CONUS Air Force installation or of an air expeditionary wing or group deployed to an expeditionary base with a single, consolidated command and control center from which to command the full range of installation activities.

He said the biggest change will be the evolution of the current command post structure into the ICC. The ICC will be more robust in its operations. Also, structures within the command post such as the survival recovery center will go away and will be replaced with the emergency operations center.

This will allow military and civilian first responders to coordinate their efforts when responding to an incident as well as simplify training and exercises.

“The ICC concept evolved from the wing operations centers that contained command posts and battles staffs, which operated at home station,” said Colonel Romrell. “When the Air Force started air expeditionary operations, expeditionary operations centers came online. The problem was that the two entities were organized differently and functioned differently from each other.”

“Expeditionary commanders started asking if there was a way to solve this problem of fighting differently from the way we trained and operated stateside, he added. “The answer is yes, and this is where the ICC originated from.”

The ICC will function in all phases of operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round, and will provide the C2 capabilities the wing commander needs to operate.

Colonel Romrell said the ICC will be more efficient then the current operation is.

Despite the planned changes, the elements of the command post that are in place today will still be recognizable in the future.

Colonel Romrell said the ICC is as much a process as it is a place. The make up and the size of the ICC will depend on the size of the host unit, the mission and the state of operations.

The ICC will tie together 26 functional areas. These functional areas may or may not be sitting next to each other during operations, but will be connected by technology.

An example of this technology is already being used here.

There are trailers on the flightline for the maintenance folks that have a wireless system that allow the production supervisors to input data and update the status of an aircraft. This system allows for the near real-time update on the status on that aircraft, making the entire maintenance process more streamlined and efficient. This one-time input of data will ensure the people who need information about a jet can retrieve it as soon as it is available.

This is a vast improvement from the way systems used to function, said Colonel Romrell. Earlier systems communicated only with themselves which caused an information stovepipe. This prevented information from being shared with those who needed it.

In addition to integrating the various agencies within the 7th Bomb Wing, the ICC will integrate the 317th Airlift Group with the 7th BW to create the Dyess ICC.

The ICC concept will be standardized, but will also be flexible enough to meet the needs of various missions.

Ultimately, the ICC will provide the wing commander an efficient, rapid communication tool that will provide the information he or she needs to make critical decisions and respond to the given situation with more speed and accuracy.