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JTTOCC refines wing's range operations

Col. Colin Miller, 46th Test Wing commander, tours the new Joint Test and
Training Operations Control Center. The JTTOCC was developed to increase
air, ground and water test and training missions on Eglin Air Force Base's range. (U.S. Air Force photo/Minty Knighton)

Col. Colin Miller, 46th Test Wing commander, tours the new Joint Test and Training Operations Control Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The JTTOCC was developed to increase air, ground and water test and training missions on Eglin's range. (U.S. Air Force photo/Minty Knighton)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The Joint Test and Training Operations Control Center officially replaced the 46th Test Wing's Range Operations Control Center during a small ceremony here June 14.

The JTTOCC also co-located the range control function with Eglin's radar control facility.

The 46th TW developed the JTTOCC to increase air, ground and water test and training missions by way of an information display system called the common operating picture. The COP displays scheduling data with real time air, ground and water activity on and near Eglin's range to allow range operators to exercise real-time control over crucial range activities.

"It allows us to see unused activity, so we can be more proactive in scheduling missions," said Gary Wesolowski, 46th Operations Support Squadron. "Instead of losing that time and space, we can notify an organization, schedule their mission and have them up in running in a matter of minutes."

Range missions are scheduled in blocks of time. Before, when missions changed due to various reasons like weather, aircraft maintenance or scheduling issues, blocks of time went unused. Eglin range operation units can now use the COP to identify an unused block time and schedule waiting missions.

Eglin's range has a history of managing a vast number of missions from various military and civilian organizations. With the BRAC announcement in 2005, the 46th TW knew their customers would increase with more requirements from the Air Force Special Operations Command, the 33rd Fighter Wing's Integrated Joint Strike Fighter Training Center for F-35 Lightning II military training operations and the Army 7th Special Forces Group (A).

The JTTOCC oversees more than 18,700 test and training missions per year and is expected to increase to more than 28,000 by 2015.

Before JTTOCC, there was no way to determine how much air and ground space was actually being used. Mission range usage was based specifically by scheduled missions only.

"We can now generate reports and even graphic snapshots of all the data we receive," said Jason Lucas, JTTOCC program manager. "We can show how often the range is used, peak times of use, number of missions.. just about everything."

Mission success is now based on actual data and the 46th TW expects to double mission productivity.

"We will be able to cut coordination time in half," said Wesolowski.

The JTTOCC is not only been resourceful, but provides an enhanced situational awareness that help save lives.

"The CV-22 Osprey from Hurlburt Field that recently crashed near Navarre, (Fla.) was first detected by the JTTOCC," said Col. Colin Miller, 46th Test Wing commander. "It was the JTTOCC that contacted 911 and provided precision location enabling first responders to arrive within minutes of the crash."

The official standup of the JTTOCC culminates six years of dedicated planning and development and will provide Eglin's Test and Training Range customers with unparalleled support for their programs and training activities.

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