RELEASE NUMBER: 131107-02
DATE POSTED: NOVEMBER 7, 2013
USASOAC builds Special Warfare capability through AvFID symposium
Maj. Emily Potter
USASOAC Public Affairs
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Nov. 7, 2013) – When Chief Warrant Officer 5 Mike Yeager walked into a hangar in Jordan last month to start assessments for aviation training, he was surprised to see a certificate from the Colorado National Guard, who had recently conducted General Purpose Force (GPF) aviation training with the same unit.
This emphasized what Yeager already knew: there was disconnect with the various units implementing Aviation Foreign Internal Defense (AvFID).
To improve the communication and interaction between AvFID elements, the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command (USASOAC) hosted an AvFID Symposium last week at Fort Bragg. The intent was to increase situational awareness and coordination among existing Department of Defense AvFID endeavors, and minimize counterproductive efforts for future AvFID Enterprise planning at all levels.
More than 40 people attended the two-day symposium, with participants ranging from active duty and National Guard units, different branches of the military, and Special Operations (SOF) and conventional forces. Yeager, the USASOAC G3 AvFID team leader, said one of the challenges was simply “finding out who the key players were.”
In his opening remarks, USASOAC commanding general Brig. Gen. Clayton M. Hutmacher addressed the participants, challenging them to figure out how to improve the process and make the most impact.
“We’re all trying to get to the same point, but are currently doing it unilaterally,” he said. “How can we synchronize efforts, mature the process and improve collaboration?”
Hutmacher also noted that AvFID is a joint effort nested within the Global SOF Network, emphasizing the Special Warfare component of ARSOF 2022.
“Our focus has historically been on Surgical Strike,” he said. “With combat operations drawing down, we are now building the Special Warfare capability.”
Yeager said that “the conference was an eye opener for everyone across the board. It was the first step in a long process. We laid out how to maximize efficiency, ensure optimum synergy and avoid unnecessary duplication of effort”
According to Chief Warrant Officer 4 Ernie Cisneros, USASOAC G3 AvFID advisor, one of the biggest take-away was the agreement to utilize the Joint Lessons Learned Information System (JLLIS) after AvFID engagements.
“It’s a program already in place that we’ll all start reporting on,” said Cisneros, “It will be very beneficial to use this storage facility so we can share information and increase situational awareness.”The symposium concluded with participants agreeing to conduct a follow-on video teleconference communication (VTC) early next year, with quarterly VTCs thereafter. Lt. Col. Heath Niemi, USASOAC G3, summarized the benefit of the symposium, saying “It will be amazing to see how this changes AvFID. We had the right people here.”