communications agency

air force communications

Air Force Communications Agency is a field operating agency that reports to Headquarters U.S. Air Force Communications and Information, Washington, D.C. With headquarters at Scott Air Force Base, IL, the agency activated June 13, 1996.

Mission

As the technical arm of HQ USAF, Communications and Information, the agency ensures integration and interoperability among command, control, communications and computer (C4) systems across the Air Force. It does this by developing and validating C4 architectures, technical standards, technical reference codes, policies, processes and procedures, and technical solutions.

The AFCA follows an overarching strategy for providing the warfighter with responsive, advanced C4I system services. That strategy, produced by HQ USAF/SC, is called HORIZON. It is a strategy for leading the Air Force into an era of technological innovation and better satisfying the warrior's requirements.

AFCA's challenge is to seek new, better ways to use today's technology. Through vision and by understanding the needs of the people and organizations it serves, the agency will turn today's technology into tomorrow's answers.

Personnel

There are approximately 600 people assigned to the Air Force Communications Agency, divided almost equally between active-duty military and civilians.

Organization

The agency is organized into four functional areas: systems and procedures, interoperability and technology, plans and analysis, and resources.

The Directorate of Systems and Procedures develops and standardizes policy and procedural guidance to ensure the C4 infrastructure throughout the Air Force remains interoperable, secure and integrated. It analyzes and recommends systems operations, maintenance support, intelligence, and command and control concepts and policies for Air Force-wide application and serves as the focal point for functional management issues. The directorate conducts C4I professional management seminars, provides communications support to the Secret Service and provides operational oversight to Hammer ACE, a special-purpose mobile communications unit to support aircraft accidents and other peacetime emergency situations. It also provides support for local, metropolitan, and wide area networking systems, and manages the headquarters building's computer network.

The Directorate of Interoperability and Technology provides technical support for C4 systems evaluations; resource allocation decisions, feasibility studies and interoperability validations; and performs initial applications engineering studies. The directorate participates as the Air Force representative in standard forums; performs engineering analysis, modeling and simulation efforts for C4 architectures and proposed technical solutions. It also analyzes the performance of C4 systems in various scenarios and performs architectural prototyping and operational integration validation for C4 systems.

The Directorate of Plans and Analysis develops C4 architectural guidance to support migration toward systems interoperability; C4 policy and procedural documents to provide centralized guidance on C4 systems; software concepts; and strategic plans, policies and procedures for electronic data interchange and data administration. The directorate performs software process assessments; maintains Air Force data dictionaries; validates technical solutions and requirements for compatibility, interoperability and integration; and manages modeling and forecasting for C4 systems. It also functions as the Air Force executive agent for communications service authorizations; reviews C4 wartime operational requirements; manages the C4 war planners' seminar; and performs special studies on roles and missions for the agency and the C4 community.

The Directorate of Resources performs personnel, programming, financial management, information management, public affairs, customer interface and history functions. It also provides manpower data on the Air Force C4 community to HQ USAF/SC staff; and develops fee-for-service, unit cost resourcing and defense business operations fund financial policies, processes and procedures on behalf of HQ USAF/SC.

Vision Statement

Communicate and Dominate -- instant availability of information to execute the warfighter's mission.

History

The Army Air Corps established the Army Airways Communications System in 1938 to provide air-to-ground and ground-to-air communications between aeronautical stations in the United States to promote safety and simplify flying operations. AACS's secondary mission was to provide point-to-point communications between ground radio stations. The system's mission continued to grow through World War II and, in 1946, it was redesignated Airways and
Air Communications Service.

The 1960s brought challenge and revolution to Air Force communications. AACS changed to the Air Force Communications Service, and became the Air Force's 16th major command July 1, 1961. On the 41st anniversary of the establishment of the Army Airways Communications System, the Air Force Communications Command was established Nov. 15, 1979. AFCC became a field operating agency July 1, 1991, changed its name to Air Force Command, Control, Communications, and Computer Agency May 28, 1993 and was redesignated Air Force Communications Agency on June 13, 1996.

Point of Contact

Air Force Communications Agency
Public Affairs Office; 203 W. Losey St., Room 1060; Scott AFB, IL 62225-5233
DSN 576-4396 or (618) 256-4396; e-mail: afca-rmip@afca.safb.af.mil

January, 1997

 

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