by 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs
3/18/2015 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- A
joint, total force representation of Space Operations experts gained
beneficial experience during Red Flag 15-2 from Feb. 26 to March 13 at
Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
This was the first linked exercise with tactical, operational and
virtual tactical participants, according to Lt. Col. Trae York, Director
of Space Forces for 12th Air Force and Air Forces Southern at
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
"Virtual operations refers to actual tactical players in plane
simulators flying routes, air tasking orders, and using special
instructions directed by the live operation center players," York said.
"Constructive refers to flights planned in the ATO being flown in the
models and simulator tools."
The goal of this exercise for the space team was to focus on team
interaction and integration vice individual skills, according to York.
Overall the training simulated major combat operations in an
anti-access/aerial denied environment. The air operations center
directed over 2,000 sorties a day in the live, constructive and virtual
"The job of the space team is to provide relevant information to the
other combat operations division teams, precisely and timely," York
explained. "For example, if systems detect a SCUD launch, the space
team's job is to identify the threat, determine its location, then
interpret and pass the information to a dynamic target team." This then
sets off a chain of events, involving multiple teams and disciplines, to
determine a follow-on tactics to then eliminate that threat. This
process fulfilled the space team's goal.
Working with the deployed space team were in-house subject matter
experts Maj. Phil Mudahka and Maj. Brandon Davenport from Nellis, as
well as Maj. John Edwards, space duty officer from the Illinois Air
"Major Mudahka ensured the [simulators] and models worked correctly, and
provided the initial spin-up and the best practices gleaned from his
experiences working Red Flags," York explained. "[Davenport] provided
that next-level understanding, the links and nodes that enable data and
information, the intricacies of space enabled capabilities and insight
into the relevancy of space capabilities in the AOC."
The deployed members said they were grateful for the opportunity to
learn and experience operating from within an air operations center.
"Everyone I've worked with in the Space Cell has been amazing and I
can't begin to express how grateful I am to them for all their knowledge
and experience that they provided," said Staff Sgt. Clint Yager, 2nd
Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.
York said working in the AOC enables the deployed space team an
opportunity to understand the relevancy of what happens at the
operational level, which, in turn, enables them to be better operators
This sentiment was echoed by Tech. Sgt. Brodie Burbach, from the 380th Space Control Squadron at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
"This event added a ton to my knowledge base, which will increase my
value to the Air Force," Burbach said. "I would love to do this mission
Staff Sgt. Thomas Brummet from the 460th Operations Support Squadron at
Buckley AFB, Colo., agreed. "It feels good to be kind of like a liaison
for space," Brummet said. "Everything that I've learned makes me that
much better of an operator. It's great to see how working the air
operations center can be so rewarding; it's easy to see the impact of
In addition to York, Yager, Burbach and Brummet, the space team included
Total Force and joint team members from the U.S. Army's 32nd Army Air
and Missile Defense Command from Ft. Bliss,Texas, and the 19th Space
Operations Squadron at Schriever AFB, Colo.