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Preparing For a New Command Hub: Air Force and contractor personnel, led by the Electronic Systems Center’s 652nd Electronic Systems Squadron, plan to begin equipment installation in July at the new facility being built at an air base in Southwest Asia to house Air Forces Central’s new combined air and space operations center. The software and hardware installation will take roughly four months to complete. Once up and running, the new CAOC “will tremendously enhance” the command and control capabilities available to the combined forces air component commander to plan and execute air campaigns, said Capt. Amber Ward, Air and Space Operations Center Weapons System program manager at ESC. This includes “a greater capability to receive and translate time-sensitive information at a quicker rate,” and the “potential of accomplishing more missions” based on intelligence coming in at a faster rate, she said. Earlier in March, a 15-member ESC team, including Ward, visited the air base in the host nation to check on construction of the facility and provide input on any last-minute planning and engineering. AFCENT oversees air operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Horn of Africa. The new CAOC will succeed the existing one at the same base. (Hanscom report by Monica D. Morales)