Air Force officials stood up the Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center in a ceremony at Duke Field, Fla. The center consolidates Air Force Special Operations Command’s training and doctrine development under one flag, with Active Duty and Air Force Reserve Command airmen working side-by-side, according to the command’s Feb. 12 release. “The center is here to train and educate air commandos,” said Col. Jonathan Duncan, AFSOAWC deputy commander, who will serve alongside Brig. Gen. Jon Weeks, who took command of the center during the Feb. 11 ceremony. Duncan noted, however, that the center will not be a “training-only organization,” but rather “a training and operations organization,” with the units assigned to it playing operational roles as well. AFSOAWC is headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Fla., with satellite locations at Duke and Robins AFB, Ga. It is modeled after the Special Air Warfare Center, which the Air Force activated in 1962 and stood down after the Vietnam War, according to the release. With the new center in place, AFSOC on Feb. 11 inactivated the Air Force Special Operations Training Center. (Duke report by Raquel Sanchez)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.