September 27, 2009
By Jung Sung-ki
A broader joint air operations command of South Korean and U.S. Air Forces is being set up here in tandem with the planned transition of wartime operational control (OPCON) in 2012, a military source said Sunday.
The Hardened Theater of Air Control Center (HTACC), the Korea-U.S. combined air operations command led by a three-star American general at Osan Air Base, has been working to expand its roles and missions after being renamed the Korea Air and Space Operations Center (KAOC), the source said on condition of anonymity.
The Master Control and Reporting Center (MCRC), a computer system to monitor and track aircraft on a real-time basis, at the KAOC is also receiving upgrades, he said.
“KAOC will be developed further to serve as an integrated joint air force command of the two allies on the peninsula by 2012, effectively orchestrating all operations of the two air forces in the case of an emergency,” the source said.
The U.S.-led Combined Forces Command (CFC) is to hand over almost all operations authority on the peninsula to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in 2012 before being deactivated.
But the U.S. military will still lead air operations after the transformation to take advantage of its dominant aerial assets against North Korea in time of war. …
We (Lindis Percy represented CAAB) joined a demonstration at Osan US Air base during the Global Network Against Weapons and Power in Space internattional conference in Seoul (May 2009).