AFAFRICA Expands Its Capability

: Air Forces Africa (also 17th Air Force) earlier this month took over responsibility for US military missions in African airspace from Air Forces Central, a component of US Central Command. Seventeenth AF activated the 617th Air and Space Operations Center last year, but until now the 617th AOC did not have full airspace authority. Maj. Randy Naylor, 617th air tasking order production chief, said, “Now that we have the lead, we can work in a better partnership with forces operating in Africa.” The AFAFRICA team had to build new policies, procedures, and system requirements that focus not on combat operations, as with AFCENT, but on airlift and intelligence gathering. Maj. Gen. Ronald Ladnier, 17th AF/AFAFRICA commander, who also now serves as US African Command’s joint forces air component commander, said, “We have accomplished a great deal, and it shows how much work has gone into this.” (17th AF report by SSgt. Stefanie Torres)