Brig Gen Daniel DeVoe Discusses How the 618th Air Operations Center Does Business

By Ms. Kim Knight, Staff Writer

For Air Mobility Command (AMC), 2021 was a monumental year that began and ended with the ongoing COVID-19 effort, resulting in the delivery of more than 50,000 vaccines to some of the hardest hit countries. In addition, 80 missions transported 340 patients in biocontainment systems for the well-being of all involved. In March, one of the first major operations was Octave Quartz, the repositioning of forces in United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) and the movement of roughly 440,000 pounds of cargo in an effort to promote peace in Somalia. From April to July, AMC took the heavy lift of the retrograde in Afghanistan head-on, moving thousands of personnel and 16,000 pieces of equipment from the area. The “go to zero” equaled approximately 900 C-17s of cargo. Then in August, the gray tails of AMC’s mighty fleet were seen on every mainstream news media outlet across the globe during the 17-day record-breaking airlift of 124,000 refugees in a non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO) at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul, Afghanistan called Operation Allies Refuge.

The numbers over the past year are staggering and a testament to the dedication and perseverance of AMC’s brave crews and dedicated support personnel. Each one of the many missions were planned, managed, and executed by the 618th Air Operations Center (AOC), Scott Air Force Base, IL, under the command of Brig Gen Daniel A. DeVoe.

In an interview with The Mobility Forum, DeVoe reflected on the many extraordinary efforts of those who rolled up their sleeves and worked tirelessly to deliver hope to those in need—no matter how challenging or distant.

Looking forward, DeVoe was asked how he is shaping the organization to best meet the needs of the future fight. “Right now, as a Department of Defense, as a military, as a Nation, we are really focused on peer competition. Great power competition is fundamentally changing the global strategic environ­ment and due to rapid advancements in technology and the proliferation of it, the low cost and ease of diffusion around the globe has really increased [the] reach, speed, and lethality of our potential adversaries’ capabilities—those who would challenge our place of primacy in the international order.”

He said, “In the INDOPACOM [United States Indo-Pacific Command] theater, China is our strategic competitor and has been doing a variety of things to intimidate neighbors and militarize features in the South China Sea. They are going to continue to challenge us.”

He discussed the friction in the United States European Command (USEUCOM) theater as Russia encroaches on the borders of nearby Nations in an expansion attempt. The rapid growth or technological advancement of near-peer adversaries has changed the way the 618 AOC does business.

“We can’t continue to do it the way we’ve done it the last 30 years,” DeVoe emphasized. “Going forward, we have to make some changes to meet the threat change, to meet the timing and tempo as it changes in conflicts across the full spectrum and, frankly, as war gets more complex, to be able to meet those demands and do what we do, which is to provide rapid global mobility to that warfighter on behalf of our Nation.”

As the 618 AOC celebrates 30 years of excellence on April 1, 2022, all focus will be on planning new operational concepts for the AOC of the future, or AOC 2030. With a solid foundation in place, the core competencies of plan, task, execute, and assess will be further refined for maximum efficiency and effectiveness in times of war and peace.

“That includes integrating global C2 [command and control] systems, across echelons, not just at the strategic or operational level where decisions need to be made, but to enable those decisions to be made at any level, depending on time, space, and the existing circumstance,” DeVoe said.

To fully plan the processes and integrate the concept of distributed C2, the first step is conducting global exercises in which participants are either connected with C2 or completely disconnected in a separate scenario. The hands-on experience will help to build on tools in AMC’s vast inventory, plus the training will help to firmly establish the processes and procedures that weave into the framework of the emerging concept.

DeVoe said, “It’s an exciting time to be part of the AOC because your days are busy making the mission happen. That mission can be anything from delivering combat power to delivering hope and building brighter futures, as we saw with AOR [Area of Responsibility] for 124,000 people. Then, at the same time, when you take a moment to breathe and think, we’re working really hard to make the defense transportation system move, to be agile, to be rapid, to meet the need of our joint war fighters, AND we’re going to shape the future.”

It’s an exciting time to be part of the AOC because your days are busy making the mission happen. That mission can be anything from delivering combat power to delivering hope and building brighter futures…AND we’re going to shape the future.

Brig Gen Daniel DeVoe

618 AOC Overall Footprint

(Dec 1, 2020 – Nov 30, 2021)

Approximately 15,000 Missions and 50,000 Sorties

Roughly 300,000 Short Tons Moved

More Than 100 Bomber Task Missions Supported

760,000 Passengers Airlifted

134 Million Pounds of Fuel Transferred

More Than 200,000 Flying Hours

COVID-19 Impact

  • 50,000+ Vaccines Shipped Worldwide
  • 340 DoD Patients (infected or suspected to be infected with COVID-19)
  • More Than 80 Missions Using Biocontainment Units

Texas Water Crisis

  • 700,000 Bottles of Water Delivered
  • 11 Distribution Centers, 19 Airlift Missions Completed

Afghanistan Go-To-Zero

  • April to July, 900 C-1 7 Loads of Material
  • Approximately 16,000 Pieces of Equipment
  • Hundreds of DoD Personnel

Afghanistan Evacuation

  • 124,000 Qualified Evacuees
  • 75,000 Aboard AMC Aircraft
  • Averaged 7,500 Civilians per Day
  • 330 Total Departures Out of Kabul
  • Approximately 250 AMC Aircraft and 500 Aircrews from Guard, Reserve, Active Duty Units

JOMPC* Groundbreaking Ceremony

  • 30 Sept, Construction Begins
  • Projected Completion: Late 2023
  • 170,000+ Square-Foot Facility, $84M Project

*Joint Operations Mission and Planning Center

Exercise Mobility Guardian

  • Largest and Longest AMC Exercise
  • 1,800+ Air Force Participants, 18 Mobility Aircraft
  • 6 Operating Locations Across Michigan/Wisconsin

Operation Octave Quartz

  • 18 Airlift Missions, 440,000+ lbs of Cargo Moved


Q: What is involved for the 618 AOC to task specific aircraft types on regular missions?

A: Routine missions (otherwise known as channel missions) are submitted to the 618 AOC as validated mission requirements through United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM). Depending on the nature of the mission, the requirements are analyzed and passed down through the appropriate directorates, who task available mobility assets, populate a movement plan, and manifest a route and planning checklist before overseeing the flight movement in real time during mission execution.

Step 1. USTRANSCOM provides the 618 AOC with validated mission requirements.
Step 2. The mission requirements are analyzed by our team and passed to the appropriate directorate depending on the nature of the mission.
Step 3. The directorate identifies available aircraft and tasks them with supporting the mission.
Step 4. A movement plan is created.
Step 5. A flight route is created.
Step 6. Planning checklists are completed and reviewed.
Step 7. The 618 AOC tracks the aircraft’s movement in real time during mission execution.