Concept Of Operations
Air Force Weather
20 Apr6 Feb 1998
This Concept of Operations (CONOPS) details Air Force Weather (AFW) processes for repeatable, sustainable, reengineered end-state operations. It further refines the guidance of the AFW Strategic Plan, permitting the development of more detailed action plans in the areas of technology, logistics, personnel flow, training, metrics, public affairs and assessment.
A comprehensive glossary of acronyms is included at the end of this document.
Headquarters United States Air Force Directorate of Weather
Change Implementation Team
1490 Air Force Pentagon
Washington DC 20330-1490
Commercial: (703) 614-7410
Concept Of Operations
Air Force Weather
20 Apr 1998
Prepared and submitted by the Air Force Weather Change Implementation Team
FRED P. LEWIS, Brig Gen, USAF
Director of Weather
DCS/Air and Space Operations
Section Item Page
Title Page 1
CONOPS Approval Record 2
1. Introduction 5
1.1 Authority 5
1.2 General Description 5
1.3 Communications/Computer Systems Support 5
2. Structure 6
2.1 Strategic Centers 6
2.2 Operational Weather Squadrons (OWSs) 7
2.2.1 Areas of Responsibility 7
2.2.2 OWS Structure 9
2.3 Other Weather Squadrons 11
2.4 Weather Flights/Detachments
2.4.1 Command and Control 11
2.4.2 Weather Flight Structure 11
2.5 Guard and Reserve 11
3. Operations 12
3.1 Roles and Responsibilities 12
3.1.1 Strategic Centers 12
3.1.2 Operational Weather Squadrons 13
3.1.3 Weather Flights/Detachments 13
3.2 Strategic Centers 13
3.2.1 AFWA/Operations Directorate 13
3.2.2 55th Space Weather Squadron 15
3.2.3 AF Combat Climatology Center 15
3.2.4 Joint Typhoon Warning Center 16
3.3 Operational Weather Squadrons 16
3.3.3 Operations and Production Flight 16
3.3.4 Training/Technical Sciences Flight 21
Section Item Page
3.3.5 Systems Services Flight 22
3.3.6 Combat Operations Flight 23
3.3.7 Tanker Airlift Control Center 24
3.3.8 Leadership Responsibilities 24
3.3.9 Employment 25
3.3.10 OWS Backup 25
3.4 Weather Flights/Detachments (WF/DetC/UWT) 25
3.4.3 WF/DetC/UWT Functions 26
3.4.4 Leadership Functions 29
3.4.5 Employment 30
3.5 Contingency and Combat Operations 30
3.6 Formal Agreements 31
3.7 Exceptions to OWS/WF Operations 32
3.8 RDT&E Operations 32
3.9 Combat Weather Center 32
4. Career Path 33
4.4 Enlisted 34
4.5 Officer 34
5. Training 35
5.1 Overview 35
5.2 Responsibilities 36
5.3 Initial Target Training Timeline 36
5.4 Enlisted Career Training Path 36
5.5 Officer Career Training Path 40
6. Standardization and Evaluation 41
6.1 AFWA Standardization and Evaluation
Division (AFWA/XOV) 41
6.2 Stan-Eval Program at the OWS 41
6.3 Stan-Eval Program at the WF/DetC/UWT 42
7. Metrics 42
Attachment 1 Acronyms 44
1. Introduction. The Air Force Weather (AFW) mission is to provide the highest quality, mission-tailored weather and space information--anytime, anywhere--from the mud to the sun. This concept of operations (CONOPS) builds the framework for execution of this mission. It describes how AFW will employ people, procedures, policy, doctrine and technology to deliver the highest quality, mission-tailored terrestrial and space weather information, products, and services to our nation’s combat forces. The key objectives of this CONOPS are to focus weather operations on customer mission requirements, improve training and readiness, and achieve the greatest efficiencies and effectiveness possible through the optimum use of people and technology.
1.1. Authority. On 18 Aug 1997, the acting AF Chief of Staff signed the AFW Strategic Plan. This Strategic Plan provides a "road map" for reengineering, furnishing the overarching guidance, goals, and objectives to reorganize and modernize AFW forces. On 1 Dec 1997, the HQ USAF Assistant Director of Air and Space Operations signed Program Action Directive (PAD) 97-10. This PAD directs MAJCOMs to develop and execute the CONOPS, action plans and program plans required to implement AFW reengineering.
1.2. General Description. The central tenet of AFW reengineering is an improved operational concept and organizational structure for AFW to optimize support to the operator/warfighter. Regionally-focused Operational Weather Squadrons (OWS) will eliminate the redundant execution of a separate detailed analysis and forecast process at each location that exists today. One unit within a CINC/MAJCOM/CONUS area, the OWS, will step through the meteorological analysis and forecast process to develop forecast products for all aerodromes, tactical training areas, intelligence evaluations, and areas of operations, within that region. Weather Flights/Detachments (WF/Dets)Combat/Unit Weather Teams (C/UWT) will evaluate and apply these regionally-produced forecast products to provide mission-tailored, relevant weather support for specific operations at the tactical level.
1.3. Communications/Computer Systems Support.
1.3.1. Assured communications with sufficient bandwidth to both fixed and tactical locations are crucial to weather operations. Existing common-user communications should be extensively used if they meet operational requirements. AFWA/XO, OWSs and WF/DetC/UWTs must be equipped with the computer and communications systems, while in garrison or deployed, necessary to have access to all available observation, satellite, radar, lightning, analysis and forecast data, and directly interface with customer's command and control systems. Successful operations will rely on reliable, timely exchange of accurate, relevant information among Strategic Centers, OWSs, WF/DetC/UWTs, and support C4I Systems..
1.3.2. OWSs will require continuous, direct connectivity with each WF/DetC/UWT. The OWS will require real-time sensor information, timely observations, all available radar and lightning detection data, and polar orbiting and geostationary satellite data, continuously updated from multiple sites. This will require a system at each site that is capable of "pushing" sensor data to the OWS for purposes of site forecasting and meteorological watch (METWATCH). The OWS will also be capable of pushing electronic messages to designated WF/DetC/UWTs and warfighter user locations at each site to alert of impending significant weather (i.e., weather warnings/advisories).
1.3.3 OWSs will require real-time mission and unit information and parameters to understand the forecast area location of moving Army units. OWSsC/UWTs will need high priority voice and electronic connectivity to moving WF/DetC/UWTs with changing IP addresses so OPORD/OPLAN information can be interchanged in a collaborative process to enable OWS to forecast for the area of operations. With this connectivity OWSs will provide forecasts that are timely, relevant, and synchronized with the operator’s/warfighter’s mission.
2. STRUCTURE. AFW will organize all operations, functions, processes, technology, and training to make the transition from peace to war as seamless as possible -- designed to respond immediately to the warfighter's or mission commander's needs. Weather operations will be conducted at the strategic (centers), operational (OWS), and tactical (WF/DetC/UWT) levels. Figure 1 illustrates the overall inter-relationship of support responsibilities at the various levels of support. The figure compares the relative amount of time each level, WF/Det, OWS, and strategic center will spend (labeled level of effort) analyzing and developing weather products at various scales (labeled scale of focus). For the purposes of this figure, the Special Operations Weather Operations Cell (SOFWOC) and CINC Target Weather Forecast Cell (CTWFC), forecast cells within the AFWA/XO, are considered to have similar missions as an OWS.
Figure 1. Inter-Relationship of AFW Levels of Support.
2.1 Strategic Centers
2.1.1. Strategic centers will provide the full spectrum of centralized weather products and services: from gridded data fields, to model and meteorological satellite output, to mission forecasts. Strategic-level weather products and hemispheric, large-scale views of the atmosphere will serve to initialize the products which the regional OWS create and disseminate. Forecast cells within strategic centers will provide value-added products to the tactical level to support WF/DetC/UWTs operating in geographical areas not covered by an OWS. The strategicci centers will ensure they interact with the supported WF/DetC/UWTs to understanddn unit level mission support requirements when serving in this role. Strategic centers will also provide first-look target forecasts and specialized battlespace forecasts as described in section 22.214.171.124, CINC Target Weather Forecast Cell (CTWFC).
2.1.2. Strategic Centers under the reengineered AFW are: the AF Combat Climatology Center (AFCCC); the Air Force Weather Agency Operations Directorate (AFWA/XO); the 55th Space Weather Squadron (55 SWXS); and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC).
2.2. Operational Weather Squadrons (OWS). The OWS will use strategic level and indigenous products and data bases and apply principles of meteorology over their Area of Responsibility (AOR) to produce fine-scale, highly accurate weather forecast products, digital data fields, and services to satisfy the requirements of the customers operating within the OWS's geographical AOR. There will be 12 operational weather squadrons.
2.2.1. Areas of Responsibility (AOR). In general, OWSs will be aligned under the Air Force Component Commands. Exceptions to this are the European and Hawaiian OWSs which fall under the MAJCOM DOs, and the Patrick and Vandenberg OWSs which fall under their supported wings, and the Scott OWS which will fall under the AMC Tanker Airlift Control Center (TACC). OWS geographic boundaries are shown in figures 2 and 3. Respective AORs and command and control of the OWS will be as follows:
126.96.36.199. Alaskan OWS--Elmendorf AFB AK. AOR: Alaska. Command and Control: 11th Air Force.
188.8.131.52. European OWS--Sembach AB, GE. AOR: USEUCOM (Europe, Africa, Middle East, Turkey, Western Slavic and Caucasus states of the Former Soviet Union). Command and Control: USAFE/DO.
184.108.40.206. Korean OWS--Yongsan AIN, Republic of Korea. AOR: Korea. Command and Control: 7th Air Force.
220.127.116.11. Japan OWS--Yokota AB, Japan. AOR: Japan. Command and Control: 5th Air Force.
18.104.22.168. Hawaii OWS--Hickam AFB HI. AOR: Hawaii; tropical and sub-tropical Pacific. Command and Control: PACAF/DO
22.214.171.124. Davis-Monthan OWS--Davis-Monthan AFB AZ. AOR: western US and the USSOUTHCOM AOR(Central/South America and surrounding waters; Caribbean Basin). Command and Control: 12th Air Force.
126.96.36.199. Barksdale OWS--Barksdale AFB LA. AOR: Central and Southern US; USACOM AOR (Atlantic Ocean to include Greenland, Iceland). Command and Control: 8th Air Force.
188.8.131.52. Shaw OWS--Shaw AFB SC. AOR: Eastern and Southeastern US, USCENTCOM AOR (approximately Asia east of 68 degrees east longitude). Command and Control: 9th Air Force.
184.108.40.206. Scott OWS--Scott AFB IL. AOR: North Central and Northeastern US. Command and Control: AMC TACC/CC.
220.127.116.11. USSOCOM Contingency Cell (SOFWOC)--Offutt AFB NE. AOR: USSOCOM AOR (worldwide AOR, determined by current operations). Command and Control: HQ AFWA.
18.104.22.168. Patrick OWS, Patrick AFB, FL. AOR: Eastern Range. Command and Control: 45th Space Wing.
22.214.171.124. Vandenberg OWS, Vandenberg AFB, CA. AOR: Western Range. Command and Control: 30th Space Wing.
Figure 2. Global AORs
Figure 3. CONUS AORs
2.2.2. OWS Structure. The OWS will be organized into Operations and Production, Technical and Training ServicesTraining/Technical Services, CommunicationsSystems Support, and Combat OperationsTheater Forecast (as applicable) flights. For a detailed description of OWS operations, see section 3.3. Figures 4 and 5 illustrate the organizational structure of the OWSs.
Figure 4. Barksdale, Davis-Monthan, Hawaii, Scott, Shaw, and USAFE OWS Structure
Figure 5. Alaska, Japan, and Korea OWS Structure
126.96.36.199 Operations and Production Flight.
188.8.131.52.1. The Operations and Production Flight will team personnel highly experienced in forecasting and operational mission support with initial skills meteorologists and technicians (with the exception of the Korean OWS). This flight will be responsible for analyzing the meteorological processes over its AOR and will be the source of accurate weather products and services. In addition, this flight will be the cornerstone of the on-the-job training and mentoring process.
184.108.40.206.2. The Operations and Production Flight will provide routine products, such as terminal forecasts and weather warnings, required to support each customer in its geographic AOR, 24 hours per day. This flight will be manned and task organized to allow accurate, responsive support to customers. Manageable workload will allow flight personnel to develop forecast expertise, keep forecast focus, and will result in highly accurate forecasts for the warfighter. This willis necessary to ensure no degradation of the support provided by the Base Weather Station of today.
220.127.116.11.3. The Operations and Production Flight will have experienced meteorologists and technicians (and civilian contractors) to monitor meteorological conditions, mentor junior technicians and officers, and facilitate the forecast processes. These individuals will work closely with inexperienced technicians and meteorologists to accomplish the required forecasting tasks by targeting the "forecast problems of the day," sharing their insight and experience, and effectively tasking individuals based on the expected conditions. They will assist in the tailoring of strategic center products to regionally-focused products and/or services by following a logical process that evaluates the atmosphere at progressively finer scales. These experienced meteorologists will build expertise in forecasting for each forecast location and contingency area through studies, reference files, application of "Rules of Thumb" and automated production techniques.
18.104.22.168.4. In those OWSs that do not include a Combat Operations Flight, the Operations and Production Flight will be responsible for the Air Force's planning and operational forecasting for decision-makers at the NAF and Echelon Above Corps (EAC) level. It may also be designated by the Joint Task Force Commander to be the Joint METOC Forecast Unit (JMFU) and becomes responsible for METOC products for JTF METOC operations.
22.214.171.124. Training and TechnicalTraining/Technical Services Flight. This flight will manage all technical training and will be the focal point for forecast improvement within an OWS. This flight will also crossfeed appropriate technical training materials to WF/DetC/UWTs within it’s AOR, and provide technical advicse when requested by the MAJCOM. This flight will normally be made up of both civilian contractors and active duty meteorologists and technicians. The civilian contract employees will add much-needed continuity to the training process and to regional forecasting improvement, while the active duty personnel will add to the flow of new ideas and experience from other areas.
126.96.36.199. Systems SupportCommunications Flight. This will be a small but important flight, composed primarily of civilian contract communication-computer personnel, that manage the OWS's communication and computer systems. This will include the Local Area Network (LAN) administrators, homepage and bulletin board managers, and data flow managers.
188.8.131.52. Combat OperationsTheater Forecast Flight. This flight will be added to CONUS-based OWSs or strategic centers that support a Unified or Sub-Unified command mission. These may include: Davis-Monthan OWS (USSOUTHCOM AOR), Barksdale OWS (USACOM AOR), Shaw OWS (USCENTCOM AOR), and the AFWA (USSOCOM AOR).
184.108.40.206.1. The Combat OperationsTheater Forecast Flight provides weather products and services to customers operating within a Unified or Sub-Unified Command AOR. It is composed of meteorologists and technicians that produce and disseminate theater-unique forecasts, weather products, and services.
220.127.116.11.2. In addition, this flight will be responsible for the Air Force and Army's planning and operational forecasting for decision-makers at the NAF and Echelon Above Corps (EAC) level. It may also be designated by the Joint Task Force Commander to be the Joint METOC Forecast Unit (JMFU) and becomes responsible for METOC products for JTF METOC operations.
18.104.22.168.3. OWSs are not deployable; however, there may be a requirement for individuals or a cell of individuals from a CONUS-based Unified or Sub-Unified Command (e.g., 9th or 12th AF) cell to deploy in support of contingency operations. In this case, the support element will reach back to the supporting OWS to tap all available information resources.
2.3. Other Weather Squadrons. In addition to OWSs, the weather squadrons already in existence under the current structure will retain their mission and designation. These units, such as the 7th Weather Squadron and 18th Weather Squadron may be designated Combat Weather Squadrons if they are fully UTC tasked.
2.4 Weather Flight/Detachment (WF/DetC/UWT). WF/DetC/UWTs will be collocated with AF, Army, and Special Operations Forces (SOF) units. To be most effective, WF/DetC/UWTs must be integrated into the supported operator’s/warfighter’s decision-making processes and routine mission operations. They will be the weather liaison between their customer and the forecasting resources developed by production centers. At the tactical level, WF/DetC/UWTs will be tactical mission/operations specialists, experts in the art of applying weather to the customer's mission. WF/DetC/UWTs will evaluate and apply OWS forecasts to specific missions, weapons systems, strategies, tactics, and applications, deploy with operators/warfighters, and provide direct, tailored customer support.
2.4.1. Command and Control. AFW reengineering will have no impact on unit level command and control relationships. Normally, C/UWTs will be a single entity under the OSS at AF bases and flights, detachments, or operating locations at Army installations. For CWTs supporting the Army, the senior weather representative will be the Staff Weather Officer will be under the staff supervision of the Intelligence Officer (G2) and will be under the operational control of the supported Army echelon commander during contingencies/deployments.
2.4.2. Weather Flight Structure. Although they are a single entity, WF/DetC/UWTs will normally conduct functions in two broad areas. The first is a group of services that could be most efficiently performed at a fixed location on the post/base(such as observing and Supervisor of Flying (SOF) support). The second set of functions could be most effectively provided directly to the customer in the customer's operations/planning facilities (such as mission planning and mission METWATCH). Customer requirements will vary widely from location to location, so the optimal staging of WF/DetC/UWT personnel within that flight will be variable--flexibility will be the key to operations at this level.
2.5. Guard and Reserve. Reserve Component (RC) resources will primarily support wartime deployment requirements. Selected numbers of RC resources will support sustainment missions as active duty or mobilization requirements shortfalls dictate. AFW will train and equip all RC personnel to the same level as their active duty counterparts. To the maximum extent possible, RC personnel will train with their wartime customer.
2.5.1 Air National Guard. Air National Guard (ANG) WF/DetC/UWTs will support Army and AF National Guard missions, Army active duty missions, and some AF Reserve flying requirements. ANG resources will also support some Air Force Reserve flying requirements. ANG Weather Flight/CWTs will be tasked to provide wartime support to their host ANG flying unit, including those flying units on active duty bases. If possible, ANG flying units on active duty bases/posts that are not hosts to a WF/DetC/UWT will also receive wartime support from an ANG WF/DetC/UWT (otherwise, the support will come from an active duty WF/DetC/UWT).
2.5.2. Individual Mobilization Augmentees. Reserve Individual Mobilization Augmentees (IMA) will primarily support AF Reserve tactical flying units. IMAs may also support other functions within AFW, including serving as advisors to key staff principals or as technical specialists under the provisions of AFI 38-204, Chapter 3. IMAs supporting tactical flying units will be assigned to an OWS, but will serve their training time and wartime commitment as a part of a WF/DetC/UWT. The senior IMA assigned to each OWS will also serve in an advisory capacity to the commander of the OWS, and will monitor the training for the other IMAs assigned against that OWS. This senior IMA will also monitor incoming taskings for IMAs, and should potential conflicts arise (i.e., the IMA for the supported flying unit cannot deploy for a particular tasking) will work with the appropriate MAJCOM and within the available pool of IMAs at the OWS to provide the required support. MAJCOMs retain overall functional management of their respective IMA programs.
2.5.3. The AFRC functional OPR will pursue the migration of OWS-specified tasks to regional OWSs at those bases with contract weather support. These tasks will be migrated to the OWS if technically advantageous at appropriate milestones during the life, or at the end, of the contract. Any task considered for migration to the OWS must meet the cost comparison and efficiency requirements criteria of the AF’s A-76 process. Regardless of the outcome of the A-76 cost comparison study, after-hour point warning support from regional OWSs will be required at locations lacking 24-hour warning support capabilities.
3.1. Roles and Responsibilities
3.1.1. Strategic Centers. AFW strategic centers will provide large-scale (campaign or global level) planning and outlooks, climatology, space-environmental warnings and outlooks, and mesoscale numerical weather prediction (NWP) model data fields to support all customers. The centers will compile databases of observations, analyses, forecasts, and weather satellite information capable of supporting military air and space operations worldwide. Each of the strategic centers will be assigned specialized product and service responsibilities which further subdivides their missions into complementary, non-duplicative, production areas. For example, the JTWC will be solely responsible for producing typhoon and tropical cyclone products, AFCCC will produce all climatological products, etc. The CTWFC and the SOFWOC, both parts of the AFWA, may provide tactical-level execution forecasts for unique operations or when time or security considerations dictate.
3.1.2. OWSs. The OWS will be responsible for analyzing and understanding the meteorological processes affecting the weather in their AOR. The OWS will create a wide range of products for their region. These products will range in scale from the operational (area forecasts, range forecasts, etc.) to the tactical level (terminal forecasts, dropzone forecasts, etc.). The OWS will create these products by exploiting accurate fine-scale NWP model output and other strategic center products and services and integrating them with products and services indigenous to its region. To prevent duplication of effort at WF/Dets, the OWS must communicate their understanding of the current and future meteorological processes to the WF/DetC/UWTs in their AOR. In addition, the OWS will be structured to train initial skills meteorologists and technicians in the "art" of forecasting.
3.1.3. Weather Flights/Detachments (WF/Dets) WF/DetC/UWTs will provide the front-line interface with operators/warfighters. They will translate the current and future state of space and the atmosphere into impacts on a commander’s wartime missions. They will also provide real-time weather observations essential for flight safety and operational forecasts. The WF/Det will evaluate and apply OWS-produced forecast products to specific missions by integrating their knowledge of their supported operator/warfighter’s weapon system, tactics, and weather sensitivities; their understanding of the current weather situation; and their familiarity with local weather effects. The end product of this integration of information and knowledge will be a mission-specific execution forecast, tailored to the particular needs of the operator/warfighter. This evaluation and application process is analogous to the process used by wing/staff weather officers and NCOs in today’s weather stations. WF/Dets must be an active participant in development of OWS forecast products both prior to and after their issuance. WF/Dets will play this active role through their participation in weather discussions, their evaluation of OWS-issued forecasts, and through detailed surface weather observations which will contain an evaluation of the next three hours of the OWS forecast in addition to information significant to both aviation and weather users.
3.2. Strategic Centers.
3.2.1. Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA).
22.214.171.124. Production and Dissemination. This center will produce and disseminate multi-scale products. It will:
126.96.36.199.1. Produce global-scale products for parameters and geographic regions that are not covered by the National Weather Service (NWS).
188.8.131.52.2. Produce and/or provide automated forecast products.
184.108.40.206.3. Provide worldwide meteorological satellite imagery and products that satisfy strategic, operational, and tactical requirements.
220.127.116.11.4. Be responsible for the production and dissemination of AR track forecasts for all AR tracks over broad ocean areas outside of 200 nautical miles of the coastline of any land mass for which an OWS has responsibility (excluding the Mediterranean). NOTE: AMC will continue to produce computer flight plans for AMC overwater missions exclusive of AFWA-generated AR forecasts.
18.104.22.168. Watch, WW, WA Services. The center will provide these services in areas not covered by an OWS.
22.214.171.124. AFW Forecasting Models. AFWA will be the clearinghouse/focal point/provider of choice for meteorological model products. It will:
126.96.36.199.1. Provide mesoscale weather model forecast data bases, and provide gridded model output for synoptic and mesoscale models.
188.8.131.52.2. Leverage and maintain operational mesoscale models.
184.108.40.206.3. Be responsible for the applicable model verification, configuration control, monitoring and maintaining ingest software and data flow, and in writing and maintaining the model computer code.
220.127.116.11. CINC Target Weather Forecast Cell (CTWFC). AFWA’s CTWFC will provide fine scale planning and execution weather forecasts across the total environment for any potential, emerging or ongoing worldwide joint military operation that, for reasons of security or timeliness, cannot be supported from an OWS. Ideally, weather support responsibility for ongoing operations will transition to the OWS covering the affected AOR. The targeting cell will assist OWSs and Combat Operations Cells with specialized support requirements. The CTWFC will provide:
18.104.22.168.1. Specialized products for rapidly emerging contingencies to support CINCs at any location that infuses order of battle information into forecast products (e.g., weather impacts to weapons systems; radar propagation; NBC dispersal, terrain analysis, etc.).
22.214.171.124.2. Mesoscale forecasts to "first-in" Army forces in formats compatible with the suite of Army weather effects decision aids on Army C2 systems.
126.96.36.199.3. Provide 0-15 day strategic, operational, and tactical level weather decision assistance and target forecasts to CINCs and national program offices.
188.8.131.52. Special Operational Forces Weather Operations Cell (SOFWOC). AFWA’s SOFWOC will provide, on demand, fine scale planning and execution weather forecasts across the total environment for any potential, emerging, or ongoing worldwide SOF operation. This includes mesoscale forecasts to "first-in" SOF in formats that interface with the suite of SOF weather effects decision aids on SOF C2 systems. SOFWOC personnel will deploy as required to support SOF contingencies and exercises."
184.108.40.206. Effective Downwind Messages (EDM). AFWA will support AFW's requirements for EDMs. This support will be coordinated with the OWS or other strategic centers.
220.127.116.11.1. Effective strategic center operations will require a great deal of coordination with the OWS. This will require a focused liaison commitment from both the center and OWS. Only through this commitment can AFW maintain the "teamwork" philosophy so critical in effective operations.
18.104.22.168.2. They will solicit and use feedback provided by customers with the objective of ensuring and increasing forecasting accuracy and coordinating forecast formats for direct customer/warfighter use.
22.214.171.124.3. Maintain a quality working relationship with all indigenous sources and agencies leading to leveraging strategic level data sources and products.
126.96.36.199. Back-up Services. AFWA will serve as a mission essential backup for any OWS that becomes inoperable.
188.8.131.52.1. AFWA/XO will provide a standard backup suite of basic mesoscale forecast model products and visualizations for the affected AOR which will be accessible by the WF/DetC/UWTs in the OWS’ AOR.
184.108.40.206.2. The SOFWOC and/or CTWFC will assume forecast responsibility for all ranges, dropzones, air refueling tracks, etc., in the affected AOR until the OWS becomes operational.
220.127.116.11. AFWA is responsible for all operational level weather support within regions not covered by an OWS (i.e.: Canada, Mexico, and Antarctica).
3.2.2. 55th Space Weather Squadron (55 SWXS)
18.104.22.168. Space Weather Products. The 55 SWXS mission will be to provide space weather products and services. These services include observations, specifications, forecasts, and warnings, anomaly assessments for satellite, radar and communications systems, and other technical support as required, at all levels of security classification. These services are required to optimize and protect military air, land, sea and space operations for the entire DoD. Space weather products will be formatted for direct use by OWSs, WF/DetC/UWTs, and supported customer/warfighters.
22.214.171.124. Multi-Level Support. The Space Environment Operations Center (SEOC) will be the central location for processing, analyzing ,and disseminating space weather information. Theater/JTF will receive/pull disseminated information from the SEOC via standard DoD communications architectures (e.g. GCCS, AWN, and fax). Other agencies and customers will receive/pull disseminated information from the SEOC via DoD or industry standard communications architecture (e.g. the internet).
126.96.36.199. Integration of space weather forecast products into AFW atmospheric and terrestrial operations. AFSPC will place high priority on providing space weather intelligence that is accurate, timely and relevant to terrestrial operators. The 55 SWXS will provide information in formats that are easily used and interpreted by AFW meteorologists and technicians for tailoring to customer/warfighter mission requirements. Space weather intelligence information can be a superb military operation enhancement tool, if properly interpreted and used by AFW meteorologists and technicians.
3.2.3. AF Combat Climatology Center (AFCCC). AFCCC will develop and produce special weather-impact information used in planning and executing worldwide military operations for the DoD and allied nations; engineering design and employment of weapon systems; and supporting National Programs. AFCCC will also be the DoD lead in air and space natural environment modeling and simulation. AFCCC will maintain the AFW Technical Library. AFCCC will collect from AF and Army proponents classified and unclassified critical weather effects threshold values for friendly and threat weapons equipment, mission areas, and warfighting capabilities and archive this information as the baseline information for use in building tactical decision aids and weather effects interpretation software for warfighter use in interpreting impacts on capabilities.
3.2.4 Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). The JTWC will provide tropical cyclone warnings for the western Pacific and Indian Ocean to all US Government agencies. The AOR extends from west of 180 degrees to the east coast of Africa. Following the BRAC mandated relocation of JTWC to Hawaii, the Southern Hemisphere portion of the AOR will extend eastward to the west coast of South America.
3.3. Operational Weather Squadrons (OWS). OWSs will enhance or create products for their region, exploiting accurate fine-scale models and integrating strategic center products and services with products and services indigenous to its region. OWSs will be responsible for analyzing and understanding the meteorological processes affecting the weather in their AOR. They will also be responsible for communicating their understanding of the current meteorological processes to the WF/DetC/UWTs in their AOR. OWSs emphasis will evolve from "big picture" to an operational-level focus aimed directly at base resource protection and operator/warfighter support within that region. This process will result inis enhanced products combining indigenous information and strategic center products through a shared database. In addition, OWSs will be structured to train initial skills meteorologists and technicians in the "art" of forecasting.
3.3.1. Meteorologists and forecasters within the OWS will have access to all pertinent terrestrial and space weather data--from global to mesoscale. Some examples of required data are: real-time observational data (observations, PIREPs, atmospheric profilers), strategic center products, indigenous products, accurate fine-scale models outputs and visualizations, real-time lightning data, real-time satellite imagery (multi-source, high resolution, multi-spectral geostationary and polar orbiting meteorological satellite data), surface analysis capabilities, weather radar, high frequency radio propagation reports, and Satcom and Global Positioning System (GPS) outage and error analyses and forecasts.
3.3.2. In the reengineered end-state, the OWS will have continuous, automated access to all available observational/sensor weather data in their AOR. Observational data will include surface weather elements, remotely sensed surface data, upper air soundings, space-based sensor data, data from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)s, radars, lightning detectors, and supplemental information such as PIREPS and Air Traffic Service observations or artillery upper air soundings. In some cases no direct surface based observational data may be available.
3.3.3. Operations and Production Flight. This flight will use strategic center-provided products, indigenous data, WF/DetC/UWT observational data, and other supplemental sensed data sources to produce regional (AOR), area, and point forecast products. The lead meteorologist on shift will be the shift technical leader--directing the OWS forecast development process. The lead meteorologist will determine the synoptic situation for the day, identify the regional forecast problem(s) of the day, and conduct weather discussions with OWS shift forecasters to coordinate daily forecast reasoning and product development. Using the forecast problems of the day, and upcoming customer operational needs, the lead meteorologist may task organize the shift workers to anticipate and overcome heavy customer requirements and/or mission-limiting weather. A Meteorological Discussion product will be made available to WF/DetC/UWTs in the AOR.
188.8.131.52. Mesoscale Forecast Model
184.108.40.206.1. The Operations and Production Flight will post-process gridded model output data provided by AFWA and/or use indigenous sources to develop regionally-focused two and three dimensional products. A similar enhancement will be accomplished by the Combat Operations Flight for its AOR. (See section 3.3.6).
220.127.116.11.2. The OWS will assist AFWA in identifying and gathering unique regional observational data sets to aid AFWA in its model verification and validation efforts.
18.104.22.168. Planning Functions
22.214.171.124.1. The OWS will act as the central point for operational weather data for all conventional Army and Air Force customers operating within it’s AOR. The OWS will assume point forecast, and watch and warning responsibility as soon as they establish adequate connectivity with the deployed WF/DetC/UWT.
126.96.36.199.2. The OWS will receive warfighter/operator mission information and required parameters from each supported WF/DetC/UWT with sufficient lead-time to effectively support mission requirements. The dissemination of flying schedules, etc., to the OWS should be automated to the maximum extent possible. A secure means of communication will be in place at both the OWS and WF/DetC/UWT for use as required.
188.8.131.52.1. The Operations and Production Flight will maintain a METWATCH of its AOR. The OWS will perform a continual garrison/tactical site METWATCH, while WF/DetC/UWTs perform mission METWATCH. The OWS METWATCH capability will be automated to the maximum extent possible.
184.108.40.206.2. OWS forecasters will have continuous voice on demand capabilities with the meteorologist or technician conducting METWATCH duties at the WF/DetC/UWT at all times to assist the OWS develop the most representative products possible.
220.127.116.11.3 The OWS will have visual monitoring capability for each airfield it supports.
18.104.22.168. Meteorological Discussions
22.214.171.124.1. OWS forecasters will pass critical weather information and reasoning to WF/DetC/UWTs in order to aid in customer product development. In addition, WF/DetC/UWT personnel have an opportunity to explain any differences of opinion of OWS-produced products and/or services based on forecast reasoning and/or experience. This will also be an opportune time for the WF/DetC/UWT to coordinate priorities, describe mission changes, and provide feedback to the OWS forecasters. Discussion of mission changes will be done over secure communications as necessary.
126.96.36.199.2. The OWS will coordinate the frequency of timing of the discussions with WF/DetC/UWTs. If a deployed WF/DetC/UWT is moving locations, WF/DetC/UWTs will contact the OWS before (time permitting) and after the move at the end of the move to to discuss changes.
188.8.131.52.3. A meteorological discussion product will be made available by the OWS to the WF/DetC/UWTs in advance of any voice meteorological discussion. This discussion product will provide the basic outline of the upcoming forecast discussion. It will include that day's model performance, significant synoptic and regional weather information, space weather (if relevant to daily operations), and pertinent OWS operations information.
184.108.40.206.4. The Operations and Production Flight will have the communications capability to lead a formal meteorological discussion with numerous parties simultaneously.
220.127.116.11. Product Coordination
18.104.22.168.1. The OWS will coordinate and provide feedback to the strategic center on all center-produced forecast products.
22.214.171.124.2. WF/DetC/UWTs will assist the OWS in maintaining the accuracy of these products. This will be accomplished by means of meteorological discussions and direct feedback from the WF/DetC/UWT as they receive debriefings and PIREPs from the operators.
126.96.36.199. Weather Product Assistance/Dissemination. The OWS will disseminate products to garrison and tactical sites utilizing pre-existing common user communications systems (i.e., Internet, Non-Secure Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNET) and Secure Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET)) and other systems such as the Global Broadcast System (GBS) or very small aperture terminal (VSAT) satellite receivers.
188.8.131.52. Graphic Weather Products and Visualizations. The OWS will take the numerical weather model output provided by the strategic center and use it to develop two and three dimensional representations and visualizations of current and forecast conditions over their AOR.
184.108.40.206.1. To foster a seamless transition across AFW, OWS graphic and visualization products and product access interfaces will be standardized as much as possible. This will facilitate a "same in peace as in war" concept that will help minimize training and optimize customer familiarity with a core product set. The level of product standardization (i.e. depiction content, threshold values, timing, frequency, scale, etc.) will be defined and documented in revisions to applicable AF directives.
220.127.116.11.2. Currently, standardized weather products include: surface weather analysis, surface prognosis. (12-48 hr), surface prognosis. (72-120 hr), HWD, cloud prognosis. (12-48 hr), wind prognosis, MWA, FLA. In the future, new and different types of weather products, keyed to customer/warfighter requirements, will be required.
18.104.22.168.3. OWS personnel will use every available weather information source in the production of standardized products. These sources include (but are not limited to) fine-scale model output, strategic center products, real-time weather information, and indigenous resources. Automated production and dissemination capabilities will be used as much as possible (such as programs to develop DD175-1 flight weather briefings, automated threshold alert notifications, and forecast production assistance tools).
22.214.171.124.4. These products will be scaled to the WF/DetC/UWT’s base/garrison and tactical AORs as appropriate.
126.96.36.199.5. The OWS may have additional product requirements from WF/DetC/UWTs based on specific operational necessities. These products will be specifically described by the WF/DetC/UWTs and posted within the WF(CWT)/OWS MOA.
188.8.131.52. Point or Area Specific Forecast Weather Products. The OWS will be responsible for developing and disseminating the following products: terminal forecasts, watches, weather warning (WW), weather advisory (WA), drop zone (DZ)/landing zone (LZ) forecasts, military operating area (MOA), instrument route (IR), Joint Airborne/Air Transportability Training (JA/ATT), range, air refueling (AR), and Mission Control Forecasts (MCF).
184.108.40.206.1. Terminal Forecasts
220.127.116.11.1.1. The OWSThis flight will produce and disseminate all required terminal forecasts for each of the required locations (garrison and deployed sites) within its AOR.
18.104.22.168.1.2. Forecast issuance times will be coordinated between the OWS and the supported WF/DetC/UWT and documented in inter-MAJCOM MOAs and agreements between WF/DetC/UWTs and their supporting OWS.
22.214.171.124.1.3. The development of terminal forecasts will be automated to the maximum extent possible. Data from observational sensors, numerical prediction models, and historical records will be fused into a "first-look" forecast which OWS personnel will modify as required.
126.96.36.199.1.4. The OWS will amend terminal forecasts for standard criteria IAW AFIs. In addition, these forecasts will be amended for the pre-determined WF/DetC/UWT customer criteria (site-specific) as determined by existing WF/DetC/UWT Weather Support Documents (WSDs).
188.8.131.52.1.5. Operations and Production Flight forecasters will be able to talk directly to WF/DetC/UWTs at each location for which they have responsibility. They will also have the capability to talk to numerous WF/DetC/UWTs simultaneously.
184.108.40.206.2 Weather Watches, Warnings, and Advisories.
220.127.116.11.2.1. The OWS will be responsible for issuing all watches and WWs/WAs for forecast phenomena for each of the required sites within its AOR. A WF/Det may issue a warning or advisory for forecast phenomena if time or safety constraints prevent coordination with the OWS prior to dissemination.
18.104.22.168.2.2. Watch, WW, and WA criteria will be determined according to AF OIs and individual WF/Det and installation WSDs.
22.214.171.124.2.3. The OWS will provide all watch, WW, and WA services for all deployed forces within its AOR. It is the responsibility of the deployed forces to ensure proper coordination with the OWS has been undertaken.
126.96.36.199.2.4. In the end-state, the OWS will disseminate the notification of a the watch, WW, and/or WA via an automated dissemination system that reaches each of the appropriate units (to include the WF/Det) on the WF/Det’s installation (garrison or deployed) in a timely manner. Upon receipt by the units, the dissemination system will provide the OWS with an automatic confirmation of receipt. If the OWS does not receive such receipt notice from a designated high priority unit (e.g., a command post), appropriate back-up call(s) will be made by the OWS to ensure notification. If this notification comes during times when the WF/Dets is not manned (due to a cooperative agreement with the local operational/warfighter customer that allows or directs the release of WF/Det personnel from duty due to cessation of scheduled operations), then standby WF/Det personnel will be notified by their garrison command post. All dissemination procedures will be included in the WF/Det--OWS agreements.
188.8.131.52.2.5. Warnings and Advisories for observed phenomenon. The OWS will be responsible for issuing all warnings and advisories for observed phenomenon that they have the capability to remotely sense during times when the WF/Det is not manned.
184.108.40.206.3. Other Products (Drop Zone (DZ)/Landing Zone (LZ) Forecasts, MOA, IR, JA/AT, training/contingency area forecasts, and range forecasts)
220.127.116.11.3.1. The OWS will issue all products for all active areas within its AOR.
18.104.22.168.3.2. These products will be graphical, textual, or a combination of both.
22.214.171.124.3.3. All products will be amended as necessary to maintain accuracy.
126.96.36.199.3.4. WF/DetC/UWTs will provide the OWS the requirements for issuance of this product. The OWS must have access to operational schedules from each operator/warfighting organization in its AOR, and will provide forecasts for only those DZ/LZ/MOA/IRs that are active that day.
188.8.131.52.3.5. Forecast responsibility for those ranges, routes, and military operating areas located within two or more separate OWS AORs, will be assigned to a single OWS and will be documented in applicable AF directives.
184.108.40.206.4. Operations and Production Flights will issue AR forecasts for all over-land tracks and those routinely used over-water tracks (e.g. 626, 202, etc.) within its AOR.
220.127.116.11.5. The OWS is responsible for coordinating and issuing MCFs for missions originating from within its AOR. This may include cross-OWS coordination for portions of the mission conducted outside its AOR.
18.104.22.168. Briefing Support. Transient aircrews and those that deploy without their designated weather support from home station may receive support from the OWS and not from the local WF/DetC/UWT. These aircrews may receive support via an automated aircrew briefing terminal. Associated with this terminal will be a means for the aircrew member to contact a weather person at the OWS responsible for that AOR.
22.214.171.124.1. The OWS will provide required weather support to operators/warfighters, to include those Guard and Reserve units not collocated on an installation with a WF/DetC/UWT. This support includes both mission planning and flight weather briefing support.
126.96.36.199.2. WF/DetC/UWTs will be manned with mission specialists who will coordinate with their supported operators/warfighters to cover as much of the mission execution forecasts as possible. Some mission execution forecasts may be provided by the OWS due to manning limitations at the WF/DetC/UWT. All unexpected or unplanned missions requiring weather support within the OWS AOR will be handled by the OWS if a WF/DetC/UWT is unable to support the requirement. This support will include mission planning, flight weather briefings, and field training exercises for active and Guard/Reserve forces.
188.8.131.52. PMSV. The OWS will provide all PMSV support normally handled by a WF/DetC/UWT during the hours the WF/DetC/UWT is off-duty. Additionally, the OWS will provide PMSV support to aircrews unable to contact their home stations WF/Det or another OWS. WF/DetC/UWT PMSV support is described in section 184.108.40.206.
220.127.116.11. Public Support. Public support consists of weather products and services provided to base/post functions not directly involved in the generation or support of operator/warfighter missions. Examples of this support include (such as the Automatic Telephone Answering Device (ATAD), internet homepages, briefing support to MWR activities, etc.) The OWS and WF/Det will work together to satisfy public support requirements not met by other sources.
18.104.22.168.1. The public support of WF/DetC/UWT installations will be a cooperative effort between the WF/DetC/UWT and OWS. WF/DetC/UWTs will address any public support required from the OWS in their WSDs.
22.214.171.124.2. This flight will provide public support assistance to each of the WF/DetC/UWT installations within its AOR. This support will consist of plain-language forecasts accessible through existing technologies.
126.96.36.199. WSR-88D Unit Control Position (UCP) Operations.
188.8.131.52.1. The Operations and Production Flight will operate all USAF-controlled UCPs in the OWS’s AOR within technological and political bounds. All UCP operations will abide by the joint DoD, DoT, and DoC radar mandate.
184.108.40.206.2. They will provide input to the Training Flight on radar-related issues for incorporation into the OWS training program.
3.3.4. Technical Training and Services Flight
220.127.116.11. Training. This flight will be responsible for all aspects of technical training within the OWS. They will crossfeed applicable technical exploitation and regional training products to WF/DetC/UWTs within its AOR, and provide technical assistance/advice to WF/DetC/UWTs upon MAJCOM request. Optimally, this flight will be a mix of blue suit and civilian contract meteorologists and technicians. The focus will be on the application of one-on-one training--focused on junior meteorologists and technicians.
18.104.22.168.1. This flight will manage OWS technical training programs. They will be in direct contact with the MAJCOM staffs of their supported WF/DetC/UWTs and the AFWA Training Division (AFWA/DNT) to coordinate MAJCOM-unique training requirements and provide feedback to help ensure the health of the OWS training program.
22.214.171.124.2. They will be responsible for the certification training of OWS personnel.
126.96.36.199.3. They will be responsible for all aspects of the OWS Continuation Training (CT) programs. This includes management of the radar, satellite, forecast system, and other weather system CT programs.
188.8.131.52.4. Through the interaction with AETC, AFWA, and other sources, they will crossfeed regional technical training/exploitation material to WF/DetC/UWTs within its AOR. The OWS Training Flight will tailor or adapt centrally-produced training to fit OWS-unique requirements.
184.108.40.206.5. This flight will assist in the scheduling and creation of OWS forecast seminars. They will ensure that these seminars are conducted as part of the OWS training program. They will arrange for this information to be crossed to WF/DetC/UWTs operating in its AOR.
220.127.116.11.6. Members of this flight will assist assigned forecasters in the creation of forecast reviews.
18.104.22.168. Technical Services. This flight will maximize the technical health of OWS weather forecasting and assist the WF/DetC/UWTs within its AOR on technical health matters as requested by the WF/Det’s MAJCOM DOW.
22.214.171.124.1. This flight will maintain the OWS technical library, and a liaison with the AFW Technical Library. The OWS technical library will include terminal and area reference files that are developed for forecasting for sites, training areas, and contingencies specified in applicable contingency areas.
126.96.36.199.2. This flight will maintain all Terminal Forecast Reference Notebooks (TFRNs) for WF/DetC/UWT locations within its AOR. A copy of all TFRNs will be located at the OWS within each appropriate forecast location. The development and maintenance of TFRNs will be a cooperative effort between OWS technical services personnel and WF/DetC/UWTs, with the final responsibility assigned to the OWS.
188.8.131.52.3. This flight will solicit and gather pertinent information dealing with WF/DetC/UWT’s missions and use it to train OWS personnel as appropriate.
184.108.40.206.4. This flight will perform analyses to identify technical shortfalls, to focus technical training, and to quantify weather product and service "value added".
220.127.116.11.5. This flight will be responsible for the OWS Regional Analysis and Forecast Program (RAFP). They will continually examine and enhance the RAFP and assist WF/DetC/UWTs with preparation and maintenance of site RAFPs.
18.104.22.168.6. Through the interaction with AETC, AFWA and other sources this flight will ensure the best and/or most current forecasting techniques and enhancements are available to both the OWS and the WF/DetC/UWTs within its AOR. They will ensure these techniques and enhancements are crossfed to WF/DetC/UWTs.
22.214.171.124.7. This flight will work closely with indigenous forecast training and production sources (i.e.: NWS Regional Scientific Services Divisions, National Weather Service Forecast Offices, US Navy and USMC forecast offices, or allied/host nation military and civilian weather services), and civilian institutions (if applicable) to build partnerships and to leverage regional forecasting skills and information. Benefits acquired will be integrated into OWS operations and training programs, and crossfed to all potential AFW users.
126.96.36.199. Technical Consultation Visits (TCVs). If requested by the MAJCOM of a supported WF/DetC/UWT, they will provide on-site assistance to WF/DetC/UWTs within their AOR. TCVs will be strictly "help" visits--not inspections. Focus will be on subjects such as: refresher training, forecast applications training and instruction, and presentation of emerging techniques/technologies, and observing assistance.
3.3.5. Systems SupportCommunications Flight
188.8.131.52. Data Flow Management. The Systems SupportCommunications Flight will manage data flow on all OWS systems.
184.108.40.206. WSR-88D Responsibilities. The Systems SupportCommunications Flight will serve as system managers for all USAF-controlled radars within its AOR In addition, this flight will chair all Unit Radar Committee meetings for all USAF-controlled radars within its AOR.
220.127.116.11. Local Area Networks (LANs) and Servers. To minimize long haul communication and concentrate dissemination efforts, a theater weather server will be employed to perform a variety of functions, to include serving as a: weather data/information repository, a data server/proxy for WF/DetC/UWTs, and a provider of network access via telephone dial-in. The server will be the focal point of theater weather information and will be an interface (i.e., NIPRNET/SIPRNET Proxy, connectivity to the Global Command and Communications System (GCCS))) between the OWS and WF/DetC/UWTs. The OWS server will be capable of providing access to most weather products generated by the OWS. Information produced by the OWS will be posted to and be available on the OWS server. An auto-update function will automatically update appropriate files for use on a home page resident on the theater server. In addition, a "smart push" capability will automatically send the products to subscribers (i.e., WF/DetC/UWTs, Wing Operations Centers, etc.). Any weather data/information produced by the WF/DetC/UWT or tactically observed by non-AFW military sources within the AOR will be routed to the theater server as will any requests for products within the theater.
18.104.22.168.1. The Systems SupportCommunications Flight is responsible for the OWS LAN and servers. This includes installation, daily operations, maintenance, and upgrades to either the hardware or software portions of the network or hardware.
22.214.171.124.2. The Systems Support Flight will provide input to the Technical Training and Services Flight on LAN-related training issues for incorporation into the OWS training program.
126.96.36.199. Homepages and Electronic Bulletin Boards (BBS)
188.8.131.52.1. The Systems SupportCommunications Flight will manage all homepage, Iinternet and BBS functions within the OWS. This includes both hardware and software support functionality.
184.108.40.206.2. They will provide input to the Training Flight on homepage-related issues for incorporation into the OWS training program.
3.3.6. Combat OperationsTheater Forecast Flight. Some OWSs (primarily those at Shaw and Davis-Monthan) may have an embedded Combat Operations Theater Forecast Flight. The personnel within this flight will be meteorological experts on an AOR that is not located in the same region as the OWS. This flight will concentrate during peace and war on its AOR. This flight will produce AOR-specific products that enter into the shared database of information to be used by an assortment of customers. This flight is also the central point of contact for all Air Force and Army weather products within the OWS's Unified Command or Sub-Unified Command's AOR. They will remain as the "reach-back" location for products and services for all AF and Army support WF/DetC/UWTs operating within the deployed AOR.
220.127.116.11. Forecast Models
18.104.22.168.1. The flight will enhance strategic center-provided model outputs for its AOR. The model runs will be the foundation for the products and services the flight will create and/or provide for the customers within its AOR.
22.214.171.124.2. The flight will assist in identifying and gathering indigenous observations for input into the AFWA-run models, and will assist AFWA/DN in assessing the accuracy of the model output.
126.96.36.199. Planning Functions.
188.8.131.52.1. The Combat Operations Theater Forecast Flight will act as the central point for weather forecast product planning for all Army and Air Force forces operating within its AOR.
184.108.40.206.2. The cell will provide all required staff weather support to the EAC and NAF commanders and staff, both in garrison and deployed.
220.127.116.11.1. The flight will provide forecast products to required customers within its AOR. Additional product requirements will be coordinated with customers.
18.104.22.168.2. Dissemination of all products and services will be the same as for the Operations and Production Flight.
22.214.171.124.3. The fight will have secure capabilities for both voice and data transmission.
126.96.36.199. Deployment. A portion of the Combat Operations Theater Forecast Flight (optimally--the team that routinely provides direct support to the NAF commander in garrison) may deploy with their respective NAF in support of contingencies and/or exercises (dependent on customer requirements). In most cases, this deployable element will be a small staff that is tasked to provide weather support to the Air Force and Army unified command component commanders. When deployed into their AOR, this small team will determine Air Force and Army component requirements for weather product and services in theater, and will help the Combat Operations Theater Forecast Flight identify and gather observational data from indigenous and deployed military forces. When deployed into another OWS’ AOR, this small team will receive all required support from the OWS responsible for that AOR and may assist in the identification and gathering of observational data from indigenous and deployed military forces.
3.3.7. Tanker Airlift Control Center (TACC). A flight will be embedded within the Scott OWS which will support the TACC. This flight will:
188.8.131.52. Assess and brief the impact of weather on AMC worldwide operations and the TACC mission to the AMC Commander and the TACC Commander and staff.
184.108.40.206. Provide initial assistance to deployed AMC Tanker Airlift Control Elements (TALCEs) and AMC aircrews until the TALCEs and their weather teams link to the OWS responsible for the deployed AOR.
220.127.116.11. Provide AMC aircrews global airborne updates via HF phone patch and L-band SATCOM when that capability not available through the supporting OWS.
18.104.22.168. Monitor tropical storm situations and compile weather information to assist HQ AMC leadership in coordinating hurricane and typhoon response at AMC bases and for AMC assets located at non-AMC bases.
22.214.171.124. Provide an/or arrange for forecast support for AMC missions transiting areas not covered by an OWS. It will assist in the support of worldwide flight planning services for AMC aircrews anywhere in the world when not available through an OWS.
126.96.36.199. Be the single manager for Single Integrated Operations Plan (SIOP) weather support services to AMC's Combined Tanker Task Force (CTTF) commander.
188.8.131.52. Be the dedicated weather support agency supporting aircrews flying Presidential and SECDEF missions as tasked and documented in the TACC CONOPs.
3.3.8. Leadership Responsibilities
184.108.40.206.1. Effective OWS operations will require a great deal of coordination with the WF/DetC/UWT and within the different OWS flights to ensure product consistency. This will require a solid liaison commitment from both OWS and WF/DetC/UWT personnel. Only through this commitment can the theater maintain the "teamwork" philosophy so critical to effective operations.
220.127.116.11.2. Similar to the WF/DetC/UWT-OWS, the same relationship must be present between the OWS and the strategic centers.
18.104.22.168.3. The OWS must maintain a quality working relationship with all indigenous sources and agencies. In many cases, this OWS liaison will act as the representative of all AFW within the AOR. This relationship will include obtaining indigenous products and data sets, and entering these into the shared information database.
22.214.171.124. Administrative Duties. Standard AF administrative duties will be performed by the OWS. These duties include the management of awards and decorations, leave, and performance reports. These duties will be administered for OWS personnel only.
126.96.36.199. Manpower and Personnel Management. Standard manpower and personnel management duties will be performed by the OWS.
188.8.131.52. IMA Advisor. The senior IMA assigned to the OWS will advise the OWS Commander on Reserve Component (RC) issues, manage IMA training within the OWS, and help develop good working relationships with RC flying components in the OWSs AOR. Ownership and management of OWS IMA will remain with the appropriate MAJCOM.
184.108.40.206. Planning Functions.
220.127.116.11.1. Flight leadership will act as the central point for weather forecast product planning for all conventional Army and Air Force forces operating within its AOR at those OWSs which do not have a Combat Operations Flight
18.104.22.168.2. Flight leadership will provide all required staff weather support to the EAC and NAF commanders and staff, both in garrison and deployed.
22.214.171.124. The Operations and Production Flight and the Combat Operations Flight (if applicable) will conduct 24-hour operations.
126.96.36.199. The Technical Training and Services Flight will operate as required.
188.8.131.52 The Systems Services Flight will provide 24 hour coverage of OWS operations through in-person or standby presence.
3.3.10. OWS Backup. In the event an equipment or communications outage prevents an OWS from supporting the WF/DetC/UWTs in its AOR, support responsibilities may be split between the AFWA, adjacent OWSs, and the affected WF/DetC/UWTs. OWSs will coordinate and document their backup procedures with the AFWA/XO, and other OWS if applicable. Sections 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 describe the responsibilities of the AFWA/XO and WF/Dets.
3.4. Weather Flights/Detachments (WF/DetC/UWTs). WF/DetC/UWTs provide the front-line interface with operators. These teams provide the combat focus of meteorology. They will deploy with the operator/warfighter, and provide the same support in-garrison, day-to-day, as they will in war. They will be the face-to-face briefer to the combatant commanders (wing commander, division commander), and operators/warfighters (pilots, infantrymen)--translating the current and future state of space and the atmosphere into impacts on commanders' wartime missions. Accurate, timely, relevant weather intelligence data is a significant force multiplier. Through careful evaluation and mission specific application of products provided from the OWS, the WF/DetC/UWT will translate the "What" of meteorology into the "How" of weather's impacts on tactical operations. They will provide real-time weather observations essential for flight safety and operational forecasts. These observations will not only contain information significant to aviators, but will serve as a method of passing valuable information to the OWS forecasters through comprehensive remarks and an evaluation of the next three hours of the OWS forecast.
3.4.1. The WF/DetC/UWT will have access to all pertinent terrestrial and space weather data, from the global to mesoscale. This data will include real-time observational data (observations, PIREPs, upper-air soundings), strategic center and OWS-provided products, indigenous products, highly accurate fine-scale NWP model visualizations, real-time lightning data, real-time satellite imagery (GMS, Polar-Orbiter, and indigenous, (as applicable)), surface analysis capabilities, and real-time weather radar reflectivity products (with maximum top information). One of the tenets of reengineering is to reduce redundancy at various locations. This data is available to assist the WF/DetC/UWT in their preparation for the day's weather events--not to re-forecast what the OWS has already accomplished or is in the process of accomplishing. However, all weather units need similar data for complete weather awareness.
3.4.2. All the weather information will be available with a versatile, deployable hardware/software platform suite. WF/DetC/UWTs will use the same hardware and software in peace as in war. The WF/DetC/UWT’s hardware and software will be able to interface with C2 systems and weather effects software.
3.4.3. Weather Flight/ Combat/Unit Weather Team Functions. As discussed in section 2.4.2, the functions that WF/DetC/UWTs must perform naturally fall into two general categories. The first is a group of functions that might be most efficiently performed at a fixed location on the base/post. The second set of functions might be most effectively provided directly to the customer in the customer's operations/planning facilities. Customer requirements will vary widely from location to location, so the optimal staging ofC/UWT personnel within a WF/DetC/UWT will be variable. Flexibility will be the key to operations at this level. How the flight commander chooses to align/position available resources to provide support will be an individual choice, but the functions described in this section are core WF/DetC/UWT functions and must be performed. The following are WF/DetC/UWT responsibilities:
18.104.22.168.1. The WF/DetC/UWT will produce and disseminate all required weather observations. They will disseminate all observations to local customers and into the shared information database.
22.214.171.124.2. Observational procedures will be followed IAW AF guidance.
126.96.36.199.3. AFW units will add comprehensive remarks of significance to meteorologists to all observations. In addition, they will append an evaluation of the OWS forecast based on their limited area METWATCH of all available data to hourly observations.
188.8.131.52.4. The WF/DetC/UWT will have the ability to access any other forecast and observation.
184.108.40.206.1. The WF/DetC/UWT provides data and products to the decision maker who commands the main line of defense in terms of protective actions. They are the weather focal point, the experts on the customer's mission, and provide the base or post commander with the information he or she needs to make critical decisions.
220.127.116.11.2. Each WF/DetC/UWT will conduct METWATCH of its customer’s missions. In addition, the WF/DetC/UWT should conduct a local area METWATCH.
18.104.22.168.3. When operationally significant weather is occurring (as defined in the WF/DetC/UWT--OWS formal agreements and local WSDs), personnel from the WF/DetC/UWT will be on duty. The WF/DetC/UWT will have recall procedures in place, linked to and initiated by the local garrison command post.
22.214.171.124.4. Special planning and coordination on the part of the WF/DetC/UWT leadership will be required for situations that entail long periods of stand-by or potential recall. The WF/DetC/UWT leadership will ensure the readiness of the WF/DetC/UWT during periods of normal down time with enough time to assist local customers and its OWS when the situation warrants (i.e. severe weather on a Sunday (normal down day), etc.).
126.96.36.199. Weather Watch, Weather Warning and Forecast Weather Advisory Support
188.8.131.52.1. Weather Warnings and Weather Advisories for Observed Phenomenon. WF/DetC/UWTs will make the determination for and will issue all Weather Warnings and Weather Advisories for observed phenomena during duty hours. The OWS will issue all Weather Warnings and Advisories for observed phenomenon for required sites after normal WF/DetC/UWT duty hours.
184.108.40.206.2. Observed Weather Warning/Advisory Notification. Upon the issuance and expiration of an observed weather warning or advisory for observed phenomena, the WF/DetC/UWT will be responsible for the timely notification of both their base customers (IAW local WSD) and their supporting OWS (IAW WF/DetC/UWT-OWS formal agreement).
220.127.116.11.3. There will be times when the WF/DetC/UWT will be critical in assisting the OWS forecaster on timing, duration, magnitude, etc. of severe weather events, not to mention the "eyes on" help they can provide.
18.104.22.168.4. Weather watches, warnings, and forecast advisories will normally be issued by the OWS. In rare instances where a warning or advisory has not been issued, but damaging weather conditions or weather conditions that will severely impact operator/warfighter missions are imminent and there is not time to pre-coordinate a warning through the OWS, the WF/DetC/UWT will issue the warning or advisory.
22.214.171.124.5. If a WF/DetC/UWT issues a Watch, WW, and/or forecast WAguidance, it will be responsible for local dissemination to its customers, and also for contacting to its associated OWS ASAP.
126.96.36.199. Meteorological Discussions. The WF/DetC/UWT will coordinate meteorological discussion times with the OWS. In addition to formal discussions, the WF/Dets will ensure they communicate any significant weather information to the OWS by whatever means is available. The frequent exchange of weather information through discussions, etc., will be an important key to ensuring the highest quality support possible from the OWS.
188.8.131.52. Supervisor of Flying (SOF) Support. The WF/DetC/UWT will be responsible for all local SOF support. To facilitate this support, the WF/DetC/UWT will have instantaneous voice-link to the SOF.
184.108.40.206. PMSV. When on duty, the WF/DetC/UWT will support all PMSV calls from their locally-supported customer/warfighter as well as aircrews requiring updated enroute weather. The WF/Det may also provide support to aircrews unable to contact their home station or an OWS. The PMSV radio at the WF/Det will have the capability to automatically forward the call the OWS responsible for that AOR in the event the WF/Det is off-duty or unable to respond.
220.127.116.11. Planning Support.
18.104.22.168.1. WF/DetC/UWT personnel will provide mission planning support to operators/warfighters. WF/DetC/UWT meteorologists and technicians must become involved in warfighter/operator mission planning and execution processes in order to provide useful, relevant weather products and services critical to overall mission success.
22.214.171.124.2. The WF/DetC/UWT will coordinate with warfighter/operator C2 and OWS to provide timely dissemination of mission and unit level information and required parameters to the OWS. This dissemination of flying schedules, etc., to the OWS should be automated to the maximum extent possible. The WF/DetC/UWT will supplement automated input of mission information as needed. The planning cycle is not only critical to the warfighter/operator, but also provides the OWS a notice of upcoming operations, allowing them to prepare accordingly. A secure means of communication will be in place at both the OWS and WF/DetC/UWT for use as required.
126.96.36.199.3. All WF/DetC/UWT personnel must be very familiar with customer tactics. When available, Aall personnel should attend the customer-provided tactics, techniques and procedures training classes, or any other customer training that will enhance the relevance of terrestrial and space weather support to the mission.
188.8.131.52. Mission Briefings. WF/DetC/UWT meteorologists and technicians will produce briefings and mission forecasts using available weather products and data. They will evaluate OWS products by comparing them against actual conditions and forecast reasoning, then apply them by exploiting their knowledge of the intimate details of the forthcoming mission.
184.108.40.206. Weapon System Operations. Specific tailored mission applications, such as Electro-Optical (EO) or Army Tactical Decision Aids, and Night Vision Goggle forecasts, will be executed by the WF/DetC/UWT using data sets provided by the OWS or appropriate strategic center.
220.127.116.11. Mission METWATCH. WF/DetC/UWTs will conduct mission METWATCH. They will relay any pertinent guidance to the operator/warfighter through the individual customer's operations section.
18.104.22.168.1. The WF/DetC/UWT will debrief returning operators/warfighters on aspects of the weather support provided whenever possible. This includes the accuracy of the weather information provided, as well as actual weather conditions.
22.214.171.124.2. It is critical for the WF/DetC/UWT to crossfeed this information through all WF/DetC/UWT work center(s) and back to the OWS Operations and Production Flight for immediate enhancement of forecast products and services.
126.96.36.199.3. During the debriefs, WF/Det personnelmeteorologists and technicians will solicit and obtain the information required as input for the WF/DetC/UWT metrics assessment program.
188.8.131.52. Other Briefing Support.
184.108.40.206.1. WF/Dets will provide or arrange for briefing support to any aircrew operating from their airfield. This briefing support will be either in-person, via an automated terminal, or telephonic, depending on local circumstances.
220.127.116.11.2. Home station WF/Dets will provide or arrange for weather support for their aircrews flying special missions (e.g., GLOBAL POWER, JA/ATT, etc.) which are staging from other than the home airfield.
18.104.22.168. OWS Backup Responsibility. In most cases, the WF/DetC/UWT will assume all terminal forecast, watch, warning, and advisory service in the event of an extended equipment or communications outage at the supporting OWS. As described in 22.214.171.124, the AFWA/XO will assume all other forecast responsibility.
126.96.36.199.1. WF/DetC/UWTs assigned to deployable units will primarily remain with their operational customers and deploy with them during exercises and contingencies (as tasked by the operational customer). In addition, WF/DetC/UWT personnel may be tasked to deploy in support of PALACE TENURE, etc., requirements as tasked by their MAJCOM functional manager. If the entire WF/DetC/UWT deploys, all WF/DetC/UWT garrison meteorological support responsibilities will then revert to the OWS as defined in the OWS-WF/DetC/UWT agreement..
188.8.131.52.2. Non-deployed WF/DetC/UWT members will remain at home station to advise and assist their customers during flying operations, and significant or severe weather events; however, emphasis will shift from in-garrison operations to a wartime focus.
184.108.40.206. Maintains Combat Readiness.
220.127.116.11.1. WF/DetC/UWT members will maintain mobility readiness as required.
18.104.22.168.2. All WF/DetC/UWTs will maintain an intimate familiarity with their supported customer's Areas of Interest (AIs) and potential Areas of Operations (AOs). This includes familiarity with the geography, meteorology, climate, and weather support infrastructure of the area (both current and contingency-planned).
22.214.171.124. Reserve Component Personnel. If appropriate, the WF/DetC/UWT will assist the ANG Weather Flights and Reserve IMAs to maintain customer familiarity and combat readiness. This could include facilitating equipment and training issues.
3.4.4. Leadership Functions.
126.96.36.199.1. Effective WF/DetC/UWT operations will require a great deal of coordination with the OWS. This will require a dedicated liaison commitment between WF/DetC/UWT and OWS personnel. The WF/DetC/UWT must very clearly define their requirements to the OWS. They must also work very closely with OWS meteorologists and technicians in enhancing the accuracy of the OWS-produced products by means of clearly-defined feedback processes (as specified WF/DetC/UWT-OWS formal agreements).
188.8.131.52.2. WF/DetC/UWT leaders are responsible for overall customer weather support requirements. They will conduct all required staff weather briefings. In addition, they will educate their customers on reengineered weather support.
184.108.40.206.3. The leadership element will be the WF/DetC/UWT liaison to all strategic centers.
220.127.116.11.4. In cooperation with the OWS, the WF/DetC/UWT should maintain a strong, positive relationship with all collocated agencies and units. For routine support weather requests and or requirements by these agencies, the WF/DetC/UWT will provide or arrange for this support, either through the WF/DetC/UWT or through coordination with the OWS.
18.104.22.168.5. The WF/DetC/UWT must maintain a quality working relationship with all indigenous weather sources and forecast agencies.
22.214.171.124. Weather Support Document (WSD).
126.96.36.199.1. The WF/DetC/UWT must formally document customer weather support requirements.
188.8.131.52.2. Any OWS-related issues uncovered during WSD coordination at the local level will be resolved and documented between the OWS and WF/DetC/UWT.
184.108.40.206.3. The WF/DetC/UWT will provide a copy of the finalized WSD to its OWS.
220.127.116.11. Local Training and Technical Development Program. The Flight Commander will have overall responsibility for this program.
18.104.22.168.1. The local training program will ensure the technical proficiency of members of the flight and will ensure the best and/or most current training material and forecasting improvement techniques are available to WF/DetC/UWT personnel. The flight commander will ensure the technical proficiency through checkrides.
22.214.171.124.2. The training program will include the scheduling, implementation, and tracking of all mobility training not included in a wing/group/squadron-level program for WF/DetC/UWT personnel.
126.96.36.199.3. The flight commander will be responsible for all aspects of the WF/DetC/UWT’s Continuation Training (CT) programs, to include observing, application of weather to combat operations, satellite, forecast system, and other weather system CT programs.
188.8.131.52.4. Flight leadership will assign and assist in the creation of WF/DetC/UWT forecast seminars.
184.108.40.206.5. Flight leadership will maintain the WF/DetC/UWT’s tactical forecast process documentation.
220.127.116.11. WF/DetC/UWT hours of operation will be determined by mission requirements.
18.104.22.168. There will be an automated means in place to provide observational support capabilities to the OWS during WF/DetC/UWT down time. These data will be available in real-time to the OWS Operations and Production Flight.
22.214.171.124. The WF/DetC/UWT will ensureprovide standard observing hours are published in the Flight Information Publication in (the FLIP), will inform the OWS of its hours of operation and any changes to themand all hours of operation to the OWS.
3.5 Contingency and Combat Operations
3.5.1. Strategic Centers
126.96.36.199. Strategic centers may be tasked to provide specialized products and services in support of contingency operations.
188.8.131.52. The SOFWOC personnel will be deployable IAW AFWA-USSOCOM MOA and applicable operations plans.
184.108.40.206. The AFWA will continue to support PALACE TENURE taskings as required.
220.127.116.11. The OWS and its Combat Operations Flight (if applicable) will provide weather products and services for customers within its AOR.
18.104.22.168. Upon guidance of the NAF, the Combat Operations Flight may deploy an element into the AOR in order to provide deployed support.
22.214.171.124. If deployed into its AOR, the deployed theater Flight element will reach-back to, and rely heavily on, the Combat Operations Flight for weather products and services. If deployed into the AOR of a different OWS, the deployed element will reach back to the responsible OWS for weather products and services.
126.96.36.199. The deployed theater element will provide all AFFOR and ARFOR weather input to all joint weather forecast processes and planning.
188.8.131.52. The deployed theater element manages and deconflicts all AFW support in theater IAW their Contingency CONOPS. This element coordinates with the SOFWOC to arrange and deconflict weather support to AFSOC weather forces.
184.108.40.206. OWSs will be tasked to support PALACE TENURE taskings and may have UTC taskings, per unified operation plans, to support units deployed from its AOR. However, the OWS will provide the majority of its wartime support in-place. An OWS supporting wartime operations in its AOR will require augmentation to meet the additional support requirements of deployed WF/Dets.
220.127.116.11. WF/DetC/UWTs will deploy equipment and personnel with their customer, as required. In most cases, a portion of the WF/DetC/UWT will remain at the garrison location.
18.104.22.168. The size of the deploying WF/DetC/UWT will depend on operational requirements and doctrine.
22.214.171.124. When possible, the deploying WF/DetC/UWT will coordinate deployed support requirements with the supporting OWS prior to deployment.
126.96.36.199. The deployed WF/DetC/UWT will use products provided by the OWS Combat Operations Flight supporting the theater into which the WF/DetC/UWT has deployed. Products will be posted on a secure OWS bulletin board for downloading and/or directly "smart pushed" to customers in theater.
188.8.131.52. This WF/DetC/UWT will utilize first-in communications until such time as they can utilize AF-provided Theater Deployable Communication (TDC), or Army Common User System (ACUS).
3.5.4. AFSOC. AFSOC Special Operations Weather Teams (SOWTs) will use theater OWSs to the maximum extent possible. For times and locations where connectivity back to the OWS is not possible, the SOWTs will reach back to the SOFWOC. The SOFWOC and theater SOC SMO will coordinate and deconflict mission support as necessary and IAW AFWA/AFSOC formal agreements.
3.5.5. Guard and Reserve (IMA). ANG and IMA units and personnel will deploy with their combat customers as identified under appropriate operations plans and/or orders. ANG and IMA personnel supporting flying operations will fall into and function as a part of the WF/DetCWT at their deployed location. When possible, ANG and IMA personnel supporting both flying and ground operations should identify unit-specific weather information requirements to the supporting OWS prior to deployment. Other items as identified in paragraph 3.5.3 apply.
3.6. Formal Agreements
3.6.1. A formal agreement between each of the supported agencies and the OWS will be coordinated, and published. A formal agreement will also be completed between MAJCOMs outlining basic services provided by an OWS owning MAJCOM to the supported MAJCOM.
3.6.2. Support requirements and procedures between OWSs and WF/DetC/UWTs deployed into their AOR will be documented in the annexes of applicable OPLANs.
3.7. Exceptions to WF/DetC/UWT-OWS Operations
3.7.1. The 30th WS (Vandenberg AFB) and the 45th WS (Patrick AFB), in addition to their full spectrum of specialized weather products for high-value space and missile launch operations, will retain all forecast, watch, and warning responsibilities for their respective bases.
3.7.2. The 65th OSS/OSW, Lajes Field, Azores, will retain all service and product responsibility for their location (remains as current). They will utilize the specialized forecast products provided and available through the Barksdale OWS, and all the strategic center products, in the production of their products and services. They will maintain all current technology and manning authorizations.
3.7.3. The 24th WS will retain all service and product responsibilities for their location(s) (remains as current). They will utilize the specialized products provided and available through the Davis-Monthan OWS, and all the strategic center products, in the production of these products and services. They will maintain all current technology and manning authorizations.
3.8. Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RTD&E) Operations
3.8.1. WF/DetC/UWTs on AFMC bases will be focused on test and evaluation activities as their contribution to USAF wartime capability. In many cases, they will also perform as a WF/DetC/UWT insofar as they support combat operations units located on their bases. Appropriate OWSs will provide support to test and evaluation activities.
3.8.2. RDT&E and Acquisition Meteorologists. Advanced degree staff meteorologists will provide support to AFMC research, development, testing, and evaluation, with regard to environmental effects on warfighter systems, throughout the acquisition cycle. They will be assigned to the Air Force Research Lab, AFMC product centers, test centers, and other locations. This function is essentially unaffected by AFW reengineering.
3.9. Combat Weather Center
3.9.1. Responsibilities. The AF Combat Weather Center is responsible for planning and providing innovative combat weather techniques, tactics, and procedures to deployable WF/DetC/UWT personnel. In order to accomplish this, the center will validate current and review new combat weather doctrine.
3.9.2. Major duties of the Combat Weather Center will include:
184.108.40.206. Developing and evaluating innovative solutions to class combat weather problems through the development of combat weather forecasting techniques.
220.127.116.11. Evaluating standard combat weather equipment, communications, software, and meteorological techniques.
18.104.22.168. Rapid prototyping and evaluation of equipment, communications, software, and meteorological techniques across AFW, and coordinating with other DoD labs and centers of expertise. This will also include operationally evaluating equipment/system prototypes and new communications architectures. AFCWC will coordinate Army weather architectures with US Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca.
22.214.171.124. Developing and conducting specialized combat exercises and/or courses to prepare AFW leaders to provide mission-relevant weather information, preparing active duty, Guard, and Reserve weather forces using current AFW battlespace doctrine, techniques and procedures.
126.96.36.199. Deploying equipment and/or expertise to solve critical wartime shortfalls.
4. CAREER PATH
4.1. A well-defined career path that grows and retains trained, experienced weather officers and enlisted members is an essential element of reengineering. Key to the approach is establishing a critical mass of experienced meteorologists and technicians at the OWS to mentor the pool of inexperienced personnel that arrive directly out of school.
4.2. A career progression path which assigns experienced meteorologists and weather technicians to combatant units will enhance the quality of weather support where it counts the most.
4.3. Figures 6 and 7 illustrate the typical enlisted and officer career paths.
Figure 6, Enlisted Career Flow
Figure 7, Officer Career Flow
4.4.1. All AFW enlisted personnel, upon entering the 1W0X1 career field, will attend the initial skills course. Initial skills training will be accomplished primarily in the apprentice in-residence course to achieve 3-level status.
4.4.2. After the formal initial skills course, enlisted members will report to an OWS where they can receive OJT and mentorship, and grow into experienced 5-level technicians. Upon reporting to the OWS, these weather apprentices will enter OJT/UGT. Because the short tour duty length will not allow sufficient time for airmen to effectively complete OJT/UGT, no airmen will report to the Korean OWS as a first assignment.
4.4.3. After completion of a three year OWS tour, enlisted technicians will complete formalattend the WF/DetCWT training before being assigned to a WF/Det In some cases, personnel may becourse and then will be assigned to either assigned to a C/UWT, strategic center, or another OWS. Regardless of the assignment, the enlisted technician will and develop further experience toward 7-level status. Reserve Component personnel will follow a career path outlined by the AFRC or ANGRC as appropriate.
4.5.1. All AFW officers will enter the 15WX career field as degreed or degreed equivalent (through the Basic Meteorology Program) meteorologists. Weather officers will attend the Officer Initial Skills Course prior to reporting to the first permanent duty assignment. No initial assignment officers will be assigned to the Korean OWS.
4.5.2. Officers will initially be assigned to an OWS, where they will learn military meteorology and technical leadership. In addition, they will be able to use their recently acquired degree to infuse science (latest forecasting techniques and up-to-date meteorological information) into OWS forecasting operations.
4.5.3. An officer's next assignment could be to a WF/DetC/UWT. Here an officer gains the experience required to lead a WF/DetC/UWT. Prior to an assignment to a WF/DetC/UWT, an officer will attend the supplemental CWT course.
4.5.4. AFW will still required certain officers who hold an Advanced Academic Degree in meteorology or related sciences to fill positions in strategic centers, OWSs, AFMC and other organizations. Some officers will attend the Air Force Institute of Technology program to attain Advanced Academic Degrees in order to fill these positions.
4.5.5. Reserve Component officers will normally follow the same progression, except for Standard Assignment Path, which will be determined by the unit of assignment.
5.1.1. Improved training programs and processes are an essential ingredient in facilitating the new envisioned end state. Overall training will improve by more effectively structuring training, tailoring it to operational mission needs, and promoting professional career development. AFW will create a continuous, efficient and effective training process focused upon combat operations and the warfighter. By involving weather apprentices (3-skill level) in the forecast process earlier in their weather careers and employing mentoring concepts, AFW envisions a significant improvement in product quality, organizational productivity, and operator support. Weather officers will also take advantage of the mentoring opportunities, enhancing not only their meteorological skills, but also their technical leadership. AFW must compensate for decreased experience levels by growing people in a quality environment so we can systematically sustain the pool of experienced people who are so critical to successful organizations. Most AFW personnel (enlisted and officer) will, following completion of an initial skills (training) course (ISC), be assigned to an OWS where they will learn from experienced weather technicians, meteorologists, and dedicated training flight personnel, and gain the practical experience needed for follow-on assignments.
5.1.2. The comprehensive training approach will be an efficient mix of formal resident (classroom) training, performance-based on-the-job training (OJT), correspondence courses, and distance learning to include web-based training methods. The OWSs will play a huge role in the overall training plan. The determination of training methods employed will be driven by the actual requirements and will be more closely aligned with trainee needs. Through reengineering, AFW will conform to the overall Air Force classification and skill level approach for officer and enlisted. Training will be focused upon the exploitation of meteorological concepts and principles, utilization of state-of-the-art technology, and the full integration of modeling and visualization capabilities. The emphasis will be on "less knobology, more meteorology."
5.2.1. HQ AF/XOW will provide overall weather career field training management, establish officer/enlisted career field training policy, and direct training and professional development initiatives. Officer and enlisted career field managers will employ the Utilization and Training Workshop (U&TW) process to identify core AFW requirements, determine and manage career field education and training, and develop mission-tailored training processes. Career Field Managers will develop, publish, and maintain Career Field Education and Training Plans (CFETP). The CFETP will document the life cycle training required to support the reengineered AFW structure.
5.2.2. AFWA/DN will implement overarching technical training, formal systems training and exploitation, and weather techniques development for employment across the career field. DN will identify core requirements, analyze available sources and/or methods for facilitating the training, develop Qualification Training Packages (QTPs), locate and crossfeed technical references, and provide recommendations to the XOW career field managers in the form of Master Training Plans (MTPs).
5.2.3. MAJCOM Functional Managers will direct and manage training for all assigned weather personnel. MAJCOM staffs will identify requirements for and develop mission/combat unique training to supplement AFW-wide training.
5.2.4. The OWS Training and Technical Services Flights will be responsible for overseeing a wide scope of training processes within the OWS and be postured to provide assistance to WF/Dets that are located in the OWS’s AOR upon MAJCOM request.
5.3. Initial Target Training Timeline. Concurrent with the OWS and WF/Det activation, technological improvements will be ongoing within the strategic centers (AFWA, AFCCC, 55 SWXS, JTWC, and TACC) to improve their ability to support the OWS and the WF/Det. Training must change to keep pace with the organizational, operational, and technological changes previously mentioned. Changes in the resident courses at Keesler will be evaluated and revised to support the required manpower flow from new accessions and OWS and WF/Det activation.
5.4. Enlisted Career Training Path. Most importantly, the enlisted weather career path will be changed from it’s current dual track structure to a single weather technician career path. Under this concept, the enlisted weather person will then be 3-, 5-, or 7-level skilled. Once reengineering is fully implemented, enlisted weather personnel will qualify to perform at an apprentice and journeyman level. This will entail appropriate tasks required to be productive members of the OWS "forecast" team. These members will not be dual qualified, as in the current career field, since traditional observing tasks are not an operational requirement within the OWS. Enlisted personnel will become dual qualified in observing and forecasting tasks to function within the WF/Det structure (notional 3-4 year career point). As a result, the weather enlisted skill level progression will resemble the traditional Air Force career path. As such, the AETC weather "schoolhouse" will revise course curriculum to produce apprentice weather technicians from the future ISC. Figure 8 illustrates the typical enlisted training path.
Figure 8, Enlisted Training Path
5.4.1. Initial Skills Course (ISC). The reengineered ISC will be required for entry into the 1W0X1 career field. This initial course will provide the basic skills foundation for employment within an OWS. The resident course will provide instruction in the following areas: (1) basics of observing (concepts of an observation), (2) the basic fundamental concepts of meteorology (dynamics, air masses, fronts, advection, climatology, etc.), (3) the basic utilization of forecasting tools and techniques (rules of thumb, movement of systems, etc.), (4) elements of conducting a meteorological watch (Met Watch), (5) basic computer skills and weather applications, (6) and fundamental briefing concepts. Each OWS will have a "critical mass" of weather personnel, to include experienced officers, NCOs and civilian contractors, to provide the capability to train and mentor graduates of initial skills courses. Graduates will be qualified at an appropriate level for 3-level apprentices ("1b" to "2b"). The intent of this course is to build the minimum foundation required for effective follow-on training within the actual operational environment.
5.4.2. OWS Training Process. Graduates of the ISC will enter a three (3) year continual training process designed to develop higher levels of proficiency and meteorological skills while resulting in increased levels of productivity from month to month and year to year. There will be a heavy reliance upon on-the-job training (OJT) and follow-on training (FOT) to grow a weather apprentice to the journeyman level. The training process will consist of a tailored blend of knowledge education with hands-on performance task training. Knowledge will be provided through successful enrollment and completion of a 5-skill level Career Development Course (CDC). Skills training will be provided through hands-on performance under the supervision of a trainer using standardized training plans and QTPs. The trainee will be fully qualified on core tasks as identified in the CFETP for the 5-skill level. The trainee will complete a minimum of 18 months in upgrade training for award of the 5-skill level. However, the structured training process will continue throughout the individual’s OWS tour.
188.8.131.52. 5-Level CDC. The 5-Level CDC must be completed prior to award of the 5-skill level. As soon as possible, personnel will enroll in this CDC. Trainers will make every attempt to utilize the CDC in conjunction with hands-on performance training. The CDC will normally build upon and reinforce knowledge initially presented within the ISC. However, the CDC will be designed to produce a higher level of comprehension (i.e., increase from a "B" to a "C" level (Principles to Analysis)). The current 1W051 CDC will need major revision from its current "Observing" emphasis to be more focused on the requirements of the OWS functions.
184.108.40.206. Skills/Performance Training. Experienced trainers will use the standardized training programs produced by AFWA/DN to provide hands-on training. Trainees will be qualified to a "Go/No Go" or fully proficient level (equated to a "3c" level). Position requirements will be identified and documented within the individual’s Job Qualification Standard (JQS). Trainees must be qualified on all JQS line items identified as core tasks for award of the 5-level. A third party evaluation (check rides) will ensure all core tasks have been successfully completed. AFWA-developed QTPs will be utilized as much as possible to conduct skills training.
5.4.3. Weather Flight/Detachment (WF/Det) Training. Enlisted journeymen, in the end state, will require additional training in conjunction with their assignment from an OWS to a WF/Det.
220.127.116.11. WF/Det Training Methods. Initially, training is likely to take the form of a resident supplemental course (length to be determined) combined with workcenter OJT. Other methods of training delivery will be evaluated for applicability. Training options include a resident course, a distance learning course, computer based instruction (CBI), world wide web-based training, a correspondence course, and/or Intranet/Extranet training. AFWA/DN will exploit existing sources of training to minimize development time and costs. In addition, every attempt should be made to utilize existing customer-provided Air Force courses (intelligence, tactics, etc.) to train weather personnel on non-weather topics needed to produce mission specific weather support.
18.104.22.168. WF/Det Topics. First and foremost until automated sensor technology is fully deployed, journeyman must be trained and qualified in traditional observing practices. Journeymen must be qualified to evaluate, encode, and disseminate weather observations. Additional training will include: (1) combat and field skills, (2) weapon system (Air Force and Army) familiarization, (3) doctrine and tactics, (4) the "art of weather warfare" defined as the application of weather support to methods of warfare, (5) electro-optics support, (6) using OWS-produced weather products, and (7) advanced forecasting techniques and applications. The requirements will be further defined as lessons are learned from initial activation and employment of traditional base weather stations in a C/UTW mode.
5.4.4. 7 Level Training. Training for the award of a 7-skill level will focus upon preparing newly promoted SSgts for assuming mid-level technical supervisory and managerial roles within the OWS, WF/Det, and Strategic Center structures. Training might also incorporate advanced meteorological techniques or concepts. The U&TW process will determine the core tasks required for award of the 7-skill level. These will be documented within the CFETP. Presently, the Air Staff is reevaluating the Air Force mandated 7-level resident Craftsman Courses. In the event the Air Force mandate is lifted, AFW will need to determine the criticality of maintaining and funding a resident course. Other options will include a distance learning course, 7-level CDC, and web-based training methods. Initial assessment, pending an Air Force decision, will focus on a 10-day Craftsman Course combined with a determination of requirements to support a Specialized (correspondence) Course (SC).
5.4.5. Qualification Training Packages (QTP) and Master Training Plans (MTP). AFWA/DN, in consultation with XOWR and the MAJCOMs, will determine the operational requirements for QTPs. QTP topics will be prioritized through the U&TW forum. MTPs will define the overall training requirements (objectives, standards, methods, evaluation) for qualification within the OWS and WF/Det structures. The MTP will serve as a framework from which to schedule, conduct, and manage AFW-wide training. AFWA/DN will develop and maintain the QTPs and MTPs . MAJCOMs will use these standardized training plans to implement training programs at the OWSs and WF/Dets. Local or MAJCOM-unique items may be added to these core task MTPs/QTPs as appropriate, but mandatory items cannot be deleted or modified without U&TW approval.
5.4.6. Supplemental Weather Courses. Additional classroom courses may be needed to supplement initial and upgrade training. The current weather supplemental courses will be reviewed during the annual U&TW process and will be validated for transitional and/or end state applicability. Supplemental courses will be evaluated for conversion to distance learning format consistent with AETC initiatives to reduce resident training costs. Other state-of-the-art delivery methods (CBT, web-based, etc.) will be evaluated by AFWA/DN and the U&TW forum to determine the most efficient and effective means to fulfill the training needs.
5.4.7. Air National Guard (ANG) Training. ANG accession personnel will attend the same ISC as active duty enlisted personnel. Upgrade procedures will be the same as active duty. Initial training timelines will be compressed. ANGRC/XOOSW will oversee implementation of reengineered training procedures and develop specific processes to fulfill doctrinal ANG requirements.
22.214.171.124. OWS Qualification Training. Upon graduation from the ISC, ANG apprentices will be programmed to participate in performance training within the OWS environment. Initial ANG planning suggests a training period of approximately 75 days (as compared to the three year active duty period). The ANG will develop a specific OWS qualification training plan. The plan will concentrate on the most important and critical aspects which will represent the prerequisite knowledge and skills for later success in the WF/Det course. ANGRC/XOOSW will coordinate with AF/XOW on specific procedures and to determine the feasibility of designating a single OWS to serve as the "training ground" for all ANG personnel.
126.96.36.199. ANG WF/Det Requirement. ANG personnel operate in practice from a WF/Det doctrinal standpoint rather than within an OWS structure. Therefore, AF/XOWR and the U&TW forum will determine the most efficient and effective means to provide a full training capability for entry level personnel in the area of traditional observing practices. Options will include: (1) a follow-on transitional supplemental course until a WF/Det resident course is developed, (2) development of the "true" WF/Det follow-on resident course, (3) CBI course or modules, (4) web-based methods, or (5) a combination of delivery methods.
5.4.8. Air Force Reserve Component (AFRC) Training. Reserve Component personnel will attend the same ISC training as the active duty. Completion will result in award of the 3-skill level. Award of the 5-skill level will be consistent with active duty requirements and determined by AFRC/DONA.
5.5. Officer Career Training Path. As part of reengineering, the officer’s training is divided into three portions: Initial Skills, Qualification, and Advanced Skills. The officer’s classification will be linked to completion of training. Further details will be outlined in the Weather Officer Career Field and Education Plan (CFETP). Figure 9 illustrates the officer training path.
Figure 9, Officer Training Path
6.0. Standardization and Evaluation
6.1. AFWA Technical Standardization and Evaluation Division (AFWA/XOV). In accordance with AFI 15-180, AFWA will be responsible for oversight of the AF Weather Standardization and Evaluation Program (AFWSEP). This will include the AF Weather Technical Standardization and Evaluation (AFTWSE) Program and the AF Weather Proficiency and Upgrade Program (AFWPUP). AFWA/XOV will provide and maintain the basic checklists and test banks that will be used by management for personnel checkrides, and will coordinate with MAJCOM weather staffs on all changes.
6.2. Stan-Eval Program at the OWSs. OWSs will manage their own AFWPUP to ensure personnel are properly trained and task certified prior to any upgrades. They will be responsible for providing checkrides and administering proficiency tests to their own personnel. This process will ensure that forecasting skills remain high at the OWS. The AFWA Stan-Eval teams will lead the evaluations of the OWSs. The AFWA Stan-Eval team will assess and evaluate the technical capabilities of OWS personnel using standardized checklists (checkrides) and written proficiency tests. MAJCOMs may supplement the checklists prepared by the AFWA to ensure MAJCOM-unique requirements are included in the evaluation. MAJCOMs may also augment Stan-Eval teams assessing OWS that supports any of its units.
6.3. Stan-Eval Program at the WF/Det. WF/Dets will manage their own AFWPUP to ensure personnel are properly trained and task certified prior to any upgrades. They will be responsible for providing checkrides and administering proficiency tests to their own personnel. WF/Dets will be evaluated using standardized checklists (checkrides) and written proficiency tests. MAJCOMs will be responsible for scheduling and will lead Stan-Eval visits for Air Force bases and Army posts throughout their command in coordination with the AFWA/XOV staff. AFWA/XOV will augment each MAJCOM-led Stan-Eval visit with at least one augmentee to ensure AFW-wide consistency in evaluation.
6.4. Figure 10 illustrates the overall Stan-Eval process.
7. Metrics For AFW to be the operator's/warfighter’s provider of choice—anywhere, anytime—every organization within AFW must provide the operator/warfighter with the most accurate, current, and timely products to meet their requirements. AFW’s value-added to the operator/warfighter’s mission is only as good as the value-added at each step of the process from the strategic centers down to the WF/Det, and from the WF/Det back to the strategic centers. In order to truly be the operator's/warfighter’s provider of choice, the entire AFW team must do their part in ensuring needs are correctly identified and met. A program of meaningful metrics will provide important data to AFW decision makers on the overall health and performance of AFW.
7.1. An integrated team of Air Staff, Army Staff, AFWA, MAJCOM, MACOM, and Air Force Center for Quality Management and Innovation (AFCQMI) representatives (the AFW Metrics Working Group) will design a comprehensive metrics program to be implemented AFW wide. The program will have two separate objectives: to measure reengineering progress toward the specified goals and objectives, and to measure AFW processes, end-to-end. Data must be relevant, and information gleaned from the metrics data must be used to guide training and operations improvement at all levels of the Reengineered AFW.
7.2. Measurement of our reengineering progress will be managed at the Air Staff and AFWA. Progress will be measured based on milestones stated in the Strategic Plan. This portion of the metrics program will be short-term (4-5 years).
7.3. AFW end-to-end process measurement will be implemented at all levels and managed by the Air Staff. Measurements will be established based on operator/warfighter requirements, strategic goals and objectives, Quality Air Force criteria, and Air Staff requirements. The metrics will concentrate on the critical factors leading to successful mission accomplishment while ensuring a broad range of critical areas are considered for metric development. The AFW metrics program will focus on processes common to all or most AFW organizations and will not deter individual organizations (e.g., WF/Det, OWS, strategic center, MAJCOM, MACOM) from developing additional metrics to be used for their own purposes. This portion of the metrics program will be long-term, directed by an AFI, and will incorporate a periodic review process to ensure quality focus is maintained as missions and requirements change.
7.4. The AFW Metrics Working Group will use a conceptual framework during the development of AFW metrics. The conceptual framework AFW will use will consist of seven areas: corporate responsibility (in place of public/environmental responsibility); human resources; supplier quality; financial performance; internal processes; product/service quality; and operator/warfighter satisfaction.
7.5. The key metric developed will be the operator/warfighter satisfaction metrics which will confirm that the organization has satisfied the operator's/warfighter's requirements. Because each organization will support different operators/warfighters with different requirements, these measures cannot be fully developed by the AFW Metrics Working Group. Instead, the team will develop a systematic approach to be used by each WF/Det, OWS, and strategic center to define what is critically important to the operator/warfighter and then develop measures for these requirements. In this context, "operators" are not just "operators" supported by the WF/Det but includes the weather operators supported by each organizational level within AFW (i.e., a WF/Det, OWS, and strategic center).
AETC Air Education Training Command
ACC Air Combat Command
AFCCC Air Force Combat Climatology Center
AFCFM Air Force Career Field Manager
AFCWC Air Force Combat Weather Center
AFFOR Air Force Forces
AFMC Air Force Materiel Command
AFR Air Force Reserve
AFSOC Air Force Special Operations Command
AFTWSE Air Force Weather Technical Standardization and Evaluation
AFW Air Force Weather
AFWA Air Force Weather Agency
AFWPUP Air Force Weather Proficiency and Upgrade Program
AFWSEP Air Force Weather Standardization and Evaluation Program
AI Area of Interest
AIREPs Air Report
AMC Air Mobility Command
AR Air Refueling
ARFOR Army Forces
A-Plan Action Plan
ALCOM (US) Alaskan Command
AMC Air Mobility Command
ANG Air National Guard
ASAP As Soon As Possible
ASPAM Atmospheric Slant Path Analysis Model
AO Area of Operations
AOR Area of Responsibility
CDC Career Development Course
CFETP Career Field Education and Training Program
CINC Commander In Chief
CONOPS Concept of Operations
CT Continuation Training
CTTF Combined Tanker Task Force Commander
CTWFC CINC Target Weather Forecast Cell
DoC Department of Commerce
DoD Department of Defense
DoT Department of Transportation
DZ Drop Zone
EAC Echelon Above Corps
EDM Effective Downwind Messages
EO Electro Optical
FOA Field Operating Agency
FOT Follow On Training
GCCS Global Command and Control System
GMS Geostationary Meteorological Satellite
HWD Horizontal Weather Depiction
IAW In Accordance With
IPB Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield
IMA Individual Mobilization Augmentee
IRC Instrument Refresher Course
JCS Joint Chiefs of Staff
JFC Joint Forces Component
JMFU Joint Meteorological Forecast Unit
JTWC Joint Typhoon Warning Center
LAFP Local Analysis and Forecast Program
LAN Local Area Network
LOA Letter of Agreement
LZ Landing Zone
MACOM Major Army Command
MAJCOM Major Command
MCF Mission Control Forecast
METSAT Meteorological Satellite
METWATCH Meteorological Watch
MOA Military Operating Area or Memorandum of Agreement
MTP Master Training Plan
MWA Military Weather Advisory
NAF Numbered Air Force
NAVAF Naval Air Forces
NVG Night Vision Goggle
NWS National Weather Service
NWSFO National Weather Service Forecast Office
OPR Office of Primary Responsibility
ORI Operational Readiness Inspection
PACAF Pacific Air Forces
PAD Program Action Directive
PIREPS Pilot Reports
PPLAN Programming Plan
QTP Qualification Training Package
RC Reserve Component
SE Standardization and Evaluation
SECAF Secretary of the Air Force
SECDEF Secretary of Defense
SEOC Space Environment Operations Center
SIOP Single Integrated Operations Plan
SOF Supervisor of Flying or Special Operations Forces
SOFWOC Special Operations Forces Weather Operations Cell
SOWT Special Operations Weather Team
STS Specialty Training Standards
SWMT Severe Weather Management Team
TACC Tanker Airlift Control Center
TAF Terminal Aerodrome Forecast
TALCE Tanker Airlift Control Element
TBD To Be Determined
TCV Technical Consultation Visit
TDC Theater Deployable Communications
UCP Unit Control Position
URC Unit Radar Committee
USACOM US Atlantic Command
USAFE US Air Forces Europe
USCENTCOM US Central Command
USEUCOM US European Command
USPACOM US Pacific Command
USSOCOM US Special Operations Command
USSOUTHCOM US Southern Command
WA Weather Advisory
WF Weather Flight
WS Weather Squadron
WSD Weather Support Document
WW Weather Warning