TINKER AIR FORCE BASE: Commanders from around the world gathered for the Executive Multinational Airborne Early Warning Commanders’ Conference June 16 and 17 at Tinker Air Force Base.
The EMACC is an annual event where air force leaders from nations that operate AWACS or similar airborne early warning and control aircraft get together to discuss ways to advance airborne surveillance and command and control capabilities across the globe, irrespective of owning nation.
“EMACC attendees work on interoperability of the different platforms that each country owns,” said Master Sgt. Christopher Fry, the 552nd Air Control Wing Protocol superintendent.
Fifty-one people from 11 nations on four different continents attended.
“This year’s EMACC focused on improving AWACS/airborne early warning and control capabilities for the real-world missions that we’re currently supporting, missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, counterdrug operations, and counter-piracy operations, for instance,” said Col. Pat Hoffman, the 552nd Air Control Wing commander.
However, the conference took on added significance when the NATO AWACS team was informed on the first day of the meeting that the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and the NATO North Atlantic Council approved the International Security Assistance Force’s request to have NATO AWACS provide additional airspace control and surveillance over Afghanistan, Colonel Hoffman said.
The conference attendees then worked with the NATO AWACS team to increase their situational awareness of Afghanistan air operations.
“The effective coordination and cooperation among AWACS units that we had just been discussing around the conference table were truly put into practice,” Colonel Hoffman said.
This year’s EMACC turned out to be a great success and even welcomed first-time attendees from Australia and Japan.
“The key to achieving the most effective command and control and battle management capabilities is to collaborate with our allies and coalition partners and work toward a common goal,” Colonel Hoffman said. “This year’s EMACC was another positive step toward that goal.”