By Kessel Run Public Affairs

BOSTON (September 7, 2023) – Kessel Run’s Operational Command and Control product line chief spoke with the organization here, Aug. 2, 2023, about her goals for delivering capabilities to warfighting Airmen, and ensuring alignment with the National Defense Strategy.

During her talk, Kelly Palaia discussed how she stepped into her current role and how her focus for OpsC2 has changed in the past year, to include Kessel Run’s pivot to the U.S. Pacific Command’s area of responsibility.

“One of the things I want to prioritize is solidifying a more thorough and in-depth vision and strategy to provide OpsC2 with a jumping off point for 2024 as we track towards our National Defense Strategy goals,” Palaia said.

The goals outlined in the 2022 National Defense Strategy, or NDS, emphasize the importance of maintaining a strong presence in the Indo-Pacific region, specifically focusing on sustaining and deterring potential challenges posed by China. Simultaneously, it highlights the need to bolster a resilient Joint Force and defense ecosystem in collaboration with a growing network of U.S. allies and partners on shared objectives.

Palaia started working at the organization in 2020 as the design director for the Kessel Run All-Domain Operations Suite, KRADOS. In 2022, Palaia took the position as chief of OpsC2 which supports the Air Operations Center weapon system. AOC weapons systems plan, monitor and direct countless mission-critical operations for the air and space campaign.

The three approaches detailed in the NDS, integrated deterrence, campaigning, and building enduring advantages, have guided the direction of OpsC2’s capabilities. Palaia said OpsC2 is delivering the AOC weapons system and the programs that will be leveraged by Airmen in a high-end fight. Giving OpsC2 the ability to look at integrations from a unit-level, intel perspective, and allowing the wing and OpsC2 capability needs statements to all drive toward the same agenda and alignment.

“I joined Kessel Run because of its mission,” Palaia said. “The way our people surge around problem sets and navigate AOCs to deliver value to our warfighters is inspiring.”

Palaia said the commitment from Kessel Run’s AOC partners encourages her to ensure the capabilities OpsC2 is delivering are meeting their needs and providing value. Palaia also spoke about the operational subject matter experts she works with, saying they not only have the technical skills and experience, but the personal and customer driven perspective of the AOCs and the mission.

“I’m not doing this independently, we’re all working together,” Palaia said. “I’m leaning on people for advice and understanding their perspectives so that we can make the right decisions for OpsC2, Kessel Run and the U.S. Air Force.”

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