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102nd Intelligence Wing prepares for new mission

OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass -- The transition from a fighter wing to an intelligence wing has positioned the 102nd to draw upon its collective aviation experience to shape the foundation of the new Air Operations Center. To operate at peak performance, the AOC needs to be manned by a cadre of trained, proficient Airmen. Otis is one of 10 Air National Guard wings that have been designated to stand up AOC augmentation units to fill any potential requirements. Since AOCs are aligned along numbered Air Forces, the Otis augmentation team will be supporting the 8th Air Force AOC at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. In its support of 8th Air Force, the 102nd will play a key role in planning, monitoring and executing Air Forces Strategic Command missions flown by such high value assets as the B-2 and B-52 aircraft. 

In the event of a crisis or contingency, Otis will be ready to provide highly-trained Airmen who will help plan, direct and assess air and space operations. An air and space operations center uses defined processes and modern information systems to plan, employ, coordinate and control air and space power capabilities. It basically serves
as the hub of all air and space activities during combat and humanitarian operations. AOCs are so critical to Air Force war-fighting success that they are actually considered a
weapon system. 

AOCs come in different sizes and shapes depending on what the commander needs. This means the commander can add to or subtract from the capabilities in the AOC to
suit the needs of a particular operation and environment. The structure usually consists of the following divisions: Strategy Division, Combat Plans Division, Combat Operations Division, Air Mobility Division and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division. 

Additionally, the 102nd will be involved in the newest warfighting domain - cyberspace. The 102nd is working closely with 8th Air Force to develop the vision of the Air Force's newest command - Air Force Cyber Command. Coordinating missions in cyberspace is a new, yet exceptionally important mission for the Air Operations Center and the country.