Tyndall Becomes Air Coordination Hub for Oil Spill Response

Air Forces Northern’s 601st Air and Space Operations Center at Tyndall AFB, Fla., is now the centralized hub for managing the airspace in the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response. For this purpose, the AOC has created an aviation coordination command to support the Coast Guard, the lead federal agency for these efforts. Currently, the 601st AOC has approximately 75 members supporting the ACC. “Our primary role is to ensure the safe and efficient use of the temporary-flight-restriction area where several hundred airframes operate on a daily basis,” said Coast Guard Capt. Mike Emerson, who leads the ACC. Earlier this year, members of the 601st AOC helped deconflict airspace around Haiti during the international earthquake-relief activities there. (Tyndall report by Lt. Col. Susan A. Romano)