LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --
Team Little Rock commanders were briefed on a new career field the Air Force has developed for officers, with the first-class commencing training summer of 2019.
The career field is described as command and control operational-level warfighting, where officers will have a variety of tasks including mission schedules and employing forces at an air operations center.
Officers interested in the 130XX career field must apply by Jan. 9, 2019, and have seven to 12 years of service. Prior experience in an AOC is recommended but not required. Officers from any Air Force specialty code are eligible to apply, and waivers are available to those whose career field is critically manned.
Team Little Rock officers interested in the new career have an advantage of understanding of the lethality and accuracy from their tactical experience executing agile combat airlift procedures helping them employ the right operational concepts to achieve the right operational effect.
“Developing this career field within the officer corps is very important because previously Airmen were being pulled from numerous career fields to work in AOC weapons system, and after working there for a few months to three years, they’d have to return to their respective career field to keep up with training,” said Robert Barkley, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Operations School Detachment 1 chief of education, plans and programs. “We lost people with experience and had to bring new people in to train which we’d end up losing in a few years, so we came up with a solution to create this career field.”
After applicants are accepted into the career field, they will go through special training and education during a 20-week course at Hurlburt Field, Florida, followed by additional training at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
Despite the 20-week course, developers are expecting the length of training to slowly increase as more officers go through it.
“The new career field is opening up opportunities for officers to serve at the operational level for an extended period of time,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Smith, 19th Airlift Wing director of staff. “These officers will gain valuable experience while increasing continuity and effectiveness of operations.”
Operating with numerous air forces around the world and units in the Air Force gives combat-airlifter officers an understanding of what’s necessary to exploit integration of current and new joint capabilities across military operations.
Officers who complete the course will have the opportunity to be stationed at AOCs at a variety of U.S. military bases in the United States, Europe, Southwest Asia and Southeast Asia. After officers gain a general understanding of the operations of an AOC, they will be stationed at combatant commands.
Each assignment will have a different number of people depending on the resources needed at that particular base. Currently there are more than 75 people assigned to bases and completing tasks the new career holders will be performing.
Officers interested can contact their respective career field manager for more information.