By Capt. Carrie Volpe, AFCENT Public Affairs / Published May 07, 2021
AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar - U.S. Air Forces Central’s 609th Air Operations Center made history this week when it became the first AOC to operationally utilize the Kessel Run All Domain Operations Suite to plan and execute the Master Air Attack Plan.
The KRADOS suite of applications, which was developed by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Detachment 12—also known as Kessel Run—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.
“This is an extremely important moment for the command and Air Force,” said Lt. Gen. Greg Guillot, commander of 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central). “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.”
KRADOS streamlines the ATO process by automating planning functions previously completed manually or through stand-alone systems or applications.
“This is the biggest systems advancement the AOC has made since it first started using TBMCS in the 1990s,” said Col. Frederick “Trey” Coleman, commander of the 609th AOC. “We’ve been utilizing KRADOS in a beta environment since December, and these warfighters helped take that beta system and bring it online. Today we are seeing it work operationally for the first time in our very own AOC.”
Aside from streamlining the ATO process, KRADOS is vital when it comes to improving AFCENT’s ability to distribute operations from multiple locations, Coleman said.
“There are three main lines of effort in distributed operations: people, systems and facilities,” he explained. “KRADOS is essential to the systems line of effort. Cloud-based, automated, connected systems are the heart of distributed ops. Legacy, localized systems like what we’ve been using anchor us to a fixed position and create a single point of failure.”
The software improvement marks another innovation success for AFLCMC’s Kessel Run. With its user-centered approach to development, Kessel Run’s mission is to rapidly deliver combat capabilities to warfighters and revolutionize the Air Force software acquisition process. 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.
In December, after receiving a request from the 609th AOC, Kessel Run delivered the KRADOS suite of nine applications, which the AOC has been beta-testing and using in tandem with the legacy system.
“This is another benchmark for success in our efforts to modernize the AOC Weapon System,” said Col. Brian Beachkofski, commander of Kessel Run. “We are committed in our efforts to take our users’ feedback and provide solutions to win tomorrow's fights, today. Our efforts are coming to fruition in a big way.”
Although there is still work to do before KRADOS becomes fully operational in the 609th AOC, this is the first major step toward replacing TBMCS.
“We are definitely moving in the right direction, and I look 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,” said Coleman.