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Col. Brian Johnson - Commander, 101st AOG

Year in Review

The 101st Air and Space Operations Group (AOG) plays a crucial role in the defense of America’s skies by providing the majority of manning for the 601st Air Operations Center (AOC) at Tyndall Air Force Base. The AOC and AOG are commonly referred to as “America’s AOC.” Collectively, they are responsible for air defense of the continental U.S., to include the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, providing civil authorities with aerial operations support after natural or manmade disasters, and theater security cooperation. With two national level exercises, supporting wildfire relief operations throughout the country, special security events, two major inspections and leadership changes, July 2014 – June 2015 proved to be another busy yet successful year for America’s AOC.

Annually, the AOC participates in two national level exercises - one focused on supporting civil authorities and the other on homeland defense. This year, the Continental U.S. Northern Air Defense Region (CONR) and the AOC also conducted monthly live-fly exercises in the National Capital Region designed to assist Aerospace Control Alert aircraft (both fighter aircraft and U.S. Coast Guard helicopters) in honing their airdefense skills. The AOC also participated in a live-fly, quick-draw exercise, designed to verify the readiness of alert-defense aircraft and weapons systems. This quick-draw exercise also marked the historic end of Tyndall’s QF-4 drone program as the final two were shot down.

During the 2014 wildfire season, the AOC’s Air Mobility Division monitored missions of four Modular Airborne Firefighting System-equipped C-130 units. These units conducted 88 sorties, dispersing 249,000 gallons of fire retardant. These efforts supported firefighting operations in California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and other parts of the Northwestern United States.

Most people know the Super Bowl as the most watched football game of the year, but for the AOC it means months of planning with multiple interagency partners to provide the air-defense shield for the event. In support of Presidential travel around the country and special security events like the Super Bowl and the General Assembly of the United Nations, the AOC’s Combat Information Cell (CIC) conducted 12 general aviation-outreach initiatives. The CIC delivered more than 9,000 posters and kneeboards and worked with state Civil Air Patrol wings to visit and distribute materials to over 420 fixed-base operators throughout the country.

The AOC received an ‘Excellent’ rating on the 2014 Defense Information System Agency Command Cyber Readiness Inspection. Months prior to the inspection, men and women of both the AOC and the 101st Air Communications Squadron worked to secure the network enterprise.

A team of 13 Air Combat Command (ACC) inspectors spent one week observing both CONR and the AOC during the enterprises’ first ACC Management Inspection. Both the CONR and the AOC received an overall rating of ‘Effective,’ the highest rating attainable. Inspectors identified four superior performers and highlighted four teams within the AOC.

Despite an ever-growing and evolving mission set, paired with a current fiscally constrained environment, the men and women of 101st AOG continue to provide an unwavering air-defense shield for America.