TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
The 601st Air Operations Center, often referred to as ‘America’s AOC’, hosted members of the Qatar Emiri Air Force during a recent visit here to gain insight into the Continental U.S. NORAD Region’s homeland defense operations August 2-5, 2021.
The Qatari Delegation spent time on the operations floor observing the AOC’s 24/7 no-fail mission of defending the continental United States and how a bi-national command seamlessly demonstrates interoperability enhancing defense operations.
“This was an opportunity for our two countries to strengthen international bonds and discuss our different approaches to homeland defense operations,” said Brig. Gen. William Betts, First Air Force-Air Forces Northern vice commander. “It was honor to sit at the table with Qatar Emiri Air Force leadership and discuss the challenges of air defense in our individual nations.”
During the delegation’s visit, they received briefings from the different AOC division providing insight on airspace planning for special security events.
“America’s AOC routinely develops air defense plans for special security events like the Super Bowl and United Nations General Assembly,” said Col. Gregory Krane, 601st AOC commander. “With Qatar set to host the 2022 World Cup, this visit provided an opportunity to showcase how we plan for similar events.”
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be hosted throughout five cities in Qatar. This World Cup marks the first time this event has been held in an Arab country.
During their visit, the delegation also paid a visit the 337th Air Control Squadron and met with members to discuss the squadron’s International Air Weapons Controller training and Theater Air Operations Course.
The 337 ACS mission is to build professional battle management warriors for the U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve. Additionally, the squadron trains international military officers on the U.S. Air Force’s techniques for command and control and combat air operations while fostering relationships with allied nations through open dialog regarding professional differences, doctrine, and culture.
This is the AOC’s first international visit since the beginning of the global COVID pandemic.
“The safety of our guests and U.S. personnel is top priority; personal protection measures were taken to mitigate potential COVID exposure,” said Krane.
NORAD remains vigilant to the continued 24-7 defense of North America. A bi-national Canadian and American command, NORAD employs a network of space-based, aerial and ground-based sensors, air-to-air refueling tankers and fighter aircraft on alert, controlled by a sophisticated command and control network to deter, detect and defend against aerial threats that originate outside or within North American airspace.
The 601st AOC is responsible for detecting, deterring, defending and if necessary, defeating any aviation threat to the citizens of the continental United States and to U.S. critical infrastructure. The Florida Air National Guard’s 101st Air and Space Operations group provides the primary manning for the 601st AOC to fulfill its critical homeland defense mission.