CAMP DOUGLAS, Wis. — The Volk Field Air National Guard Base unveiled their newly renovated Counterland Operations Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.
Leadership at the ceremony included Brig. Gen. Gary Ebben, Wisconsin’s deputy adjutant general for Air; Col. David May, Volk Field Air National Guard commander; and Col. Chad Milne, Wisconsin director of air operations.
“The Air National Guard’s premier Counterland Training Center deserves an operations center that meets the needs of aircrews coming to Volk Field to train, and now we have it,” May said.
According to May, the state-of-the-art facility offers a modernized workspace that will be perfectly suited for next generation fighter aircraft, such as the F-35A Lightning II. The center offers access to two impact ranges within the complex including electronic warfare training systems, creating a unique and beneficial training experience unlike any other training center in the Air National Guard.
“Due to the hard work and determination of Volk’s talented workforce, we are standing in this new operations center today,” May said. “This newly remodeled facility makes us better prepared, more able, and more relevant in the effort to train the modern warfighter.”
The need to update the operations facility became evident during the highly successful Northern Lightning exercise that took place last August. Leaders realized the imminent need to expand workspace to accommodate aircrews’ mission planning and command activities. The renovations were completed just one month prior to this year’s exercise, Northern Lightning 2017, scheduled to begin May 1.
“With the advancements of our new operations center, Volk Field provides a premium training environment that can uniquely accommodate next generation aircraft in one centralized location,” Milne said. “The fact that Volk Field is only 50 miles away from the 115th Fighter Wing gives them a critical advantage in the consideration for the F-35A mission because together we are able to provide maximum mission readiness at the lowest cost.”
The proximity of the new operations center and its ability to accommodate next generation aircraft training is expected to have a positive impact in the upcoming F-35 site survey for the neighboring 115th Fighter Wing based out of Madison, Wisconsin, Milne said.