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Lakenheath opens dominance center

by Capt. Beth Horine
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

10/21/2005 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England (AFPN) -- The Air Force’s first Joint and Combined Air Dominance Center of Excellence is now open for business here.

Lt. Col. Dave Slade, the center commander, said the Air Force established the center in response to the changing security environment in European Command’s area of responsibility with the advent of the global war on terrorism and the expansion of NATO, said. 

“The JCAD Center of Excellence will increase (European Command), (U.S. Air Forces in Europe) and NATO air dominance capabilities using a cross flow of ideas,” said Gen. Robert H. “Doc” Foglesong, USAFE commander.

“Through enhanced teamwork, advanced academics, doctrine development, tactical concepts cross talk and in-flight training, the center will ensure our warfighters’ continued dominance of air and space,” General Foglesong said.

With new countries becoming allies, "We feel building a common baseline for air dominance operations will ensure operational success in the future,” Colonel Slade said.

The colonel said Lakenheath is the center’s site for a variety of reasons. Foremost is the strong relationship that exists between U.S. and British air forces. Also favoring Lakenheath, he said, is that it is home to the 493rd Fighter Squadron and it is close to vast areas of over-water training airspace.

The center will serves as European Command’s focal point to develop joint and combined air dominance requirements, operational doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures. The center will also conduct academic training and host invitational flying meets, here and other locations across the European theater.

Academic sessions will begin here in November. Each one will have 12 to 20 students. There will be four classes scheduled annually, plus two to four academic road shows held each year in NATO and non-NATO countries.

“What we’re developing is a school where students from the United States., United Kingdom and other NATO and Partnership for Peace countries will learn how to gain and maintain control of the aerial battle space,” said Maj. Howard Redd, the center’s director of operations.

By teaching air dominance fundamentals, integrating with U.S. and coalition air defenses and learning about joint command and control capabilities and assets, Major Redd said the center will give students a broad base of knowledge to take back to their respective countries.

“This will not only help integrate NATO air forces, but help integrate service-specific air forces with Army, Navy, space and even special operations forces,” Major Redd said. “We look forward to having instructors from our experienced NATO member countries as a way of developing new ideas through daily conversations and related experiences.”

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