The Nellis CAS Plan

Air Combat Command is moving to stand up the new Close Air Support Integration Group at Nellis AFB, Nev., but officials emphasized it would remain a USAF organization under the base’s 57th Wing and Warfare Center. Maj. Michael Albrecht, F-35 functional manager for ACC’s operations directorate and participant in the recent CAS summit, told reporters March 12 the command is checking to make sure the requirements for the new organization are what the services want at Nellis. “This is not a joint unit, it’s a USAF unit focused on joint training,” Albrecht said, the he noted the new group will focus on inter-service integration activities. Nearly all the services have air-ground training centers in the southwest, Albrecht noted. For example, there is the Army’s National Training Center at California’s Fort Irwin, the Marine Corps’ Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, Calif., and the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School at NAS Fallon, Nev. Albrecht said the other services want the USAF center to coordinate more advanced CAS training in the coming years, particularly to deal with CAS in contested environments. “Everyone was in agreement in that what we are used to is not necessarily where we will operate in the future,” he said.