As the United States and its coalition allies continue their campaign against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria, Air Forces Central Command is expanding its support presence at several locations in theater, and enhancing allied capabilities as well. Airmen who operate with the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing at an undisclosed air base in the Arabian Gulf region recently built a modified base operations center that gives coalition military partners their own separate mission-planning facility, according to Dec. 8 unit release. They will soon gain a second room that will give them access to their own network, said Capt. Peter O’Neill of the 386th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron. In the interim, intelligence airmen with the squadron are providing documents and verifying clearance access to support the partners’ mission-planning activities. “Our coalition partners bring a lot to the fight. Without this room and this capability, they would not be able to fly any of the sorties or perform any of the missions they are here for,” said O’Neill.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.