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AOC for Africa Ops: Seventeenth Air Force (Air Forces Africa) activated its dedicated air and space operations center on May 29. The new center, the 617th AOC, is collocated with 17th AF headquarters at Ramstein AB, Germany. Now staffed with about 60 personnel, the center should have about 130 on hand by the time 17th AF reaches its full operational capability milestone on Oct. 1. Maj. Gen. Ron Ladnier, 17th AF commander, presided over the activation ceremony. The new AOC gives 17th AF an increased command and control capability integral to its function as the air component of US Africa Command. Since the numbered air force began initial operations in October 2008, it used a precursor AOC called the command and control center and relied on the support of 3rd AF’s 603rd AOC that supports US Air Forces in Europe. The goal with the new AOC is to build “a complete air picture for Africa” and execute command and control of that air domain, said Col. Andy Redmond, who now heads the 617th AOC. (Ramstein report by MSgt. Jim Fisher)