U.S. Air Forces Central’s (AFCENT) 609th Air Operations Center (AOC) at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar has begun the transition to a cloud-based system to plan and execute air tasking orders (ATO) under the Master Air Attack Plan.
The 609th AOC became the first AOC to use the service-developed Kessel Run All Domain Operations Suite (KRADOS) earlier this month. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s (AFLCMC) Detachment 12—the Air Force’s Kessel Run software development office—created KRADOS’ nine applications to replace the nearly three-decade old Theater Battle Management Core System (TBMCS), which began development in 1994.
In April, 2017, Lockheed Martin [LMT] received a $38 million contract to sustain TBMCS, which has coordinated flights of aircraft and missiles for the military services at more than 100 locations globally. AOCs contain dozens of systems that TBMCS is to enable to give shared situational awareness to the military services.
KRADOS is to speed the ATO process through the automation of planning previously done manually or through isolated systems or applications.
The KRADOS suite of application “is being implemented to phase out the legacy Theater Battle Management Core System and is the future system for all AOCs across the Air Force,” AFCENT said this month.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Greg Guillot, the commander of 9th Air Force (AFCENT), said in a statement that “improving the Air Tasking Order process makes AFCENT and our distributed command and control capabilities more efficient, and this innovation will also help improve AOC operations across the Air Force and in other combatant commands,” while Col. Frederick “Trey” Coleman, commander of the 609th AOC, said that KRADOS “is the biggest systems advancement the AOC has made since it first started using TBMCS in the 1990s” and will be crucial to enabling resilient, distributed AFCENT operations that do not have a single point of failure.
“We’ve been utilizing KRADOS in a beta environment [with TBMCS] since December, and these warfighters helped take that beta system and bring it online,” Coleman said of the 609th AOC. “Today we are seeing it work operationally for the first time in our very own AOC.”
Last November, the 609th AOC told Kessel Run that TBMCS “continues to give us problems” and asked Kessel Run to accelerate KRADOS development, and Kessel Run delivered the initial version of KRADOS three weeks after receiving the request from the 609th AOC, per Kessel Run.
AFCENT said that, since 2017, the 609th AOC “has been using other applications from Kessel Run, including Jigsaw, their tanker planning app, and Slapshot, which builds the Master Air Attack Plan.”
Coleman said that he is looking forward to KRADOS “eventually being able to independently plan, produce and execute the ATO without using the legacy Master Air Attack Planning Toolkit or TBMCS.”