The 505th Command and Control Wing and members of the French air force exchanged ideas and views on air operations training during a visit to the Center of Analysis and Simulation for the Preparation of Air Operations, or CASPOA, Lyon, France, Sept. 3-5.
The 505th Training Squadron commander and French exchange officer visited CASPOA, also known as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Air Operations Center of Excellence, or AO COE. The AO COE is a multi-national manned, French-funded organization located at Base Aérienne 942 Lyon Mount-Verdun.
The AO COE’s mission is to enhance AO across the NATO Command and Force Structure and support the development of AO capabilities, concepts, and doctrine. The CASPOA draws on experiences and skills within AO, technical simulation, and air command and control systems domains while providing French and NATO’s primary tactical AO training to warfighters who, plan, task, and execute C2 of airpower.
During the visit, the 505th TRS commander, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Kari Mott, met with French air force Col. Emmanuel Singaraud, CASPOA commander, to discuss their unit missions and best practices in overcoming shared challenges.
“CASPOA is an impressive unit with a broad mission that encompasses much of what the 505th Command and Control Wing does. It was enlightening to see that the training challenges my squadron is facing in the U.S. are almost identical to the ones that CASPOA is facing in France,” said Mott.
Mott also believes a strong and enduring relationship between the units will lead to collaboration and synergistic effects across the AO domain.
The French and American exchange officers used the visit as a chance to set up continued exchange events between units. After almost three years of COVID restrictions, this customary in-person gathering has returned, paving the way for improved cross-cultural communication and cooperation to address shared challenges.
Lt. Col. Mott also visited and received mission briefs from le Centre Air de planification et de Conduite des Operations (a French AO planification and execution center, an AOC-like structure), the Centre National des Operations Aériennes (French national air surveillance and operations center), a control and reporting center, and the French Search and Rescue Center.
The 505th Training Squadron’s mission at Hurlburt Field, Florida, is to train joint and coalition warfighters on C2 processes and systems used to employ air, space, and cyber at the operational level of war for geographic AOCs and functional OCs.