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Airpower key to Exercise Valiant Shield

8/7/2007 - HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii (AFPN) -- Members of the 613th Air and Space Operations Center at Hickam Air Force Base will provide command and control of flying operations above and around Guam during Exercise Valiant Shield Aug. 6 to 13.

The 13th Air Force's 613th AOC staff delivers full spectrum capability for planning, directing and controlling theater assigned and attached forces engaged in all missions from humanitarian operations to full-scale conflict.

Overall operational command and control of Exercise Valiant Shield rests with the Joint Task Force 519 commander.

During the exercise, Air Force aircraft and Airmen from stateside bases and Kadena Air Base, Japan, will become part of the 36th Wing at Andersen AFB, Guam. These forces will participate in integrated joint training with Navy and Coast Guard forces.

Andersen AFB will also be the bed down location for approximately 64 Air Force and 29 Navy aircraft, plus transient aircraft, during Valiant Shield.

"The tremendous capacity at Andersen to accommodate steady-state operations as well as significant numbers of exercise forces demonstrates the strategic importance of Guam for operations in the Pacific," said Lt. Gen. Loyd S. Utterback, the joint force air component commander for the exercise and 13th Air Force commander. "Forward operating bases such as Andersen, along with our global strike capability, enable the United States Air Force to launch a bomber from the continental United States, participate in flying operations in the Pacific theater, and land at Guam some 22 hours later.

"Valiant Shield is an exciting opportunity to train and enhance joint air operations with U.S. airpower from the Marine Corps, the Navy and the Air Force," the general said. 

This is the second year in a row the American military has conducted Valiant Shield. The first Valiant Shield exercise was in June 2006. The Valiant Shield series of exercises focus on integrated joint training among U.S. military forces and enable real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces and in detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas. 

Throughout this exercise, safety and the environment are top priorities significantly considered during numerous planning conferences that started for the exercise in 2006.

Valiant Shield '07 planners built upon the lessons learned last year and the Northern Edge series of exercises in order to increase the readiness and proficiency of JTF-519 and Pacific theater military forces. Members of all the services comprise the joint task force staff.

In addition to the field-training exercise taking place around Guam, a staff training exercise will take place concurrently for staffs at their headquarters locations in Hawaii and San Diego. 

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