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WADS new agile operations center operational

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty (center left), The Adjutant General for WA, and Liz Larter (center right), Deputy Chief of Staff for Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), at the renovated WADS Agile Operations Center at JBLM, Jan. 26, 2024.

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The Western Air Defense Sector celebrated the opening of its new Agile Operations Center during a ribbon cutting ceremony, Jan. 26, 2024, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The Adjutant General for Washington, Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty and Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland's (WA-10) Deputy Chief of Staff and District Director, Liz Larter, and WADS leadership cut the ribbon on the $11.8 million-dollar project which created a virtualized solution for the operations floor as well as a complete system and facility remodel.

"The new WADS Agile Operations Center is the largest technology and infrastructure leap since post 9/11 upgrades within the air defense sector enterprise and represents a successful partnership of planning and funding between the mission owners within NORAD, the National Guard Reserve Equipment Appropriation (NGREA) funding by Congress, and the members of the Washington Air National Guard," explained Col. Antony Braun, 225th Air Defense Group commander.

The Agile Operations Center enables a flexible and adaptable system interface as well as new rack-mounted, virtual, and cloud-ready system components, according to Braun. The project was planned and executed over the three years and removed two tons of old cabling, installed 10 new state-of-the-art server racks, delivered two million feet of new fiber cabling, and delivered all new furniture with an ergonomic layout which resulted in air defense operators only having to use one keyboard and one mouse to control any monitor in the operations center.

"This is a success story of partnership and collaboration delivering combat capability meets the primary goal of the National Defense Strategy to defend the homeland," Braun emphasized.

Prior to the completion of the WADS Agile Operations Center, the comprehensive system also fielded a dedicated, state-of-the-art training space known as the Mission Training Center which was completed in August of 2023. The MTC allows for the separation of live operations from training.

WADS is one of two Air National Guard air defense sectors in the continental United States, under the command of NORAD executing Operation NOBLE EAGLE around the clock. NORAD ensures U.S. and Canadian aerospace control to include air defense operations through a network of alert fighters, tankers, airborne early warning aircraft, rotary wing air interceptors, and ground-based air defense assets cued by interagency and defense radars.

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