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Plans office keeps base prepped

Ronald Cook, 325th Fighter Wing Plans and Programs Unit Level bridge to Unit Command and Control support consultant, demonstrates the UL/UC2 program to a group of people Sept. 9 in the XP office. UL/UC2 is a computer messaging system that allows XP to push important information, instructions and alerts to unit control centers across the base during exercise and real-world crisis periods. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alex Echols)

Ronald Cook, 325th Fighter Wing Plans and Programs Unit Level bridge to Unit Command and Control support consultant, demonstrates the UL/UC2 program to a group of people Sept. 9 in the XP office. UL/UC2 is a computer messaging system that allows XP to push important information, instructions and alerts to unit control centers across the base during exercise and real-world crisis periods. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alex Echols)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Five individuals plan for nearly every situation Tyndall could face from a natural disaster to a downed airplane.

The 325th Fighter Wing Plans and Programs office, or XP, reviews and updates around 40 wing plans covering everything from a hurricane evacuation to every-day operations.

This is one of the many things the Plans office does in order to manage the wing's command and control construct.

"We are responsible for the wing's command and control during day to day operations or periods of crisis or increased operational tempo," said Lt. Col. Jonathon Breingan, 325th Fighter Wing Plans and Programs chief. "A reliable system of centralized command and decentralized execution is key to ensure effective command and control; we manage that system."

To do this, the office uses the installation control center, which consists of the wing commander's crisis action team and the emergency operations center. They also manage base activities during exercise and real-world crisis periods.

During these times, XP pushes important information, instructions and alerts from the CAT to the unit control centers across base through the Unit Level bridge to Unit Command and Control, a computer messaging system managed by XP.

XP also acts as the office of primary responsibility for the wing-wide Defense Readiness Reporting System, monitoring and reporting the mission readiness of Tyndall's units to senior DoD leadership.

"With the recent transition from Air Education and Training Command to Air Combat Command and the reactivation of the 95th Fighter Squadron, the plans office's role is more important than ever in achieving and maintaining the ACC operational and deployable mindset," said Breingan.

With this conversion to ACC, the operational security program is crucial to Tyndall, and a portion of that program is facilitated through the plans and programs office.

"Through over 80 OPSEC coordinators across the base, XP makes sure people are aware of the critical information within their organization and the information is protected," said David Warnick, 325th Fighter Wing Plans and Programs OPSEC program manager.

An offshoot of OPSEC also handled by XP is signature management.

"Signature management uses a process of profiling our observable activities and trends at Tyndall. We then implement protective measures to deny or mitigate adversary collection of information," said Warnick. "It's a subset of OPSEC that focuses more at the procedures of how things are done."

The goal of SIGMAN is to switch up routine operations and minimize drastic changes to mask or change the signal of a major event or to intentionally give the impression a military action is occurring when it's not.

The plans office also ensures the wing's adherence and response to the in-place treaties as well as anything else that falls under their scope.

"If there are taskings that the wing commander needs accomplished that do not fit under a specific wing staff office or any other unit on base, we'll pick it up to coordinate and complete the tasker," said Breingan. "We also work with outside agencies that request to use portions of our base, our services or our people in their own exercises. We act as the central point of contact through which all coordination off base flows to and from Tyndall."