Feb. 5, 2016 —
UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar (Feb. 5, 2016) — Training concluded here Wednesday with a scenario
designed to test Gulf Cooperation Council Liaison Officer (GCC LNO) procedures
and connectivity to host nation Air Operations Centers.
Participants from Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia used their new-found knowledge during exercise Arabian Gulf Shield
(AGS) which centered on air and air defense strategies.
“This type of training is invaluable,” said Lt. Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.,
commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command and Combined Forces Air Component.
“We have been able to improve our interoperability with our partners in the
Gulf region as well as increase the air and air defense capabilities within the
The GCC LNO program, which is in its ninth cycle, was streamlined from 15 weeks
to six and is significantly more operations focused than the previous cycles.
The two-week Senior Operations Planner Program, running concurrently with the
GCC LNO Program, was executed for the first time during this cycle. This
seminar-type training capitalizes on the sharing of knowledge and experiences
from our gulf coalition members in order to best equip future CAOC liaison
officers and planners. The AGS exercise is the culmination of the new GCC LNO
and senior planner programs.
“This group of highly skilled and knowledgeable officers brought a wealth of
experience to the table,” said 1st Lt. Joshua Skoglund, LNO / Senior Planner
Program coordinator. “They demonstrated the highest levels of integration and
cooperation to accomplish their learning objectives.”
During the course, the senior planners concentrated on strategic planning and
campaign plan development and then worked with LNOs to produce a master air
attack plan and briefings for the exercise and supervised the execution of that
“It’s a great concept with both classes running simultaneously and in concert
with each other; one feeding the other,” said Skoglund. “Without the sharing of
knowledge and experiences from our gulf partners this concept would not have
become a reality.”
Since this was the first iteration of the new program, Skoglund said student
feedback and learning about each individual culture has been a great experience.
“It was great to be part of this unique opportunity to learn from and be
immersed in our gulf partner’s culture,” said Skoglund. “I look forward to
working with them in the future in an operational environment.”
The course director, French Armee de l’Air Lt. Col. Eric Konietzko, said the
highlight of the course for him was to see the participants put the lessons
“It was really good to see the students from different countries and their
ability to communicate,” said Konietzko. “To see the participants create and
deliver their briefs and execute their plans was, for me, the top of the
Konietzko said this course will increase the readiness of the coalition to deal
with any current and future contingencies by allowing countries to better