The 25th Air Support Operations Squadron’s Air Support Operations Center in Hawaii has proved it has initial operational capability and expects to reach full operational capability within the next couple of months. The 25th ASOS, located at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, deployed 34 airmen—joint terminal attack controllers, communications specialists, and logisticians—and more than 16 short tons of equipment last month to the Philippines to participate in the annual Balikatan exercise for its IOC test. Calling the exercise “crucial” toward achieving FOC, Lt. Col. John Schaefer III, 25th ASOS commander, said, “We proved we were able to field a self-sustained command and control hub which retained accountability for fixed and rotary winged aircraft while executing requests for close air support and support land maneuver forces.” The Hawaii-based ASOC expects to deploy members this fall for two six-month tours to support US Central Command operations. (13th Air Force report by Capt. Genieve David)
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.