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America’s AOC hosts first-of-its-kind virtual tour | Chicago Composite Squadron

America’s AOC hosts first-of-its-kind virtual tour

Photos Lt. Col. Nehrings talks about the 601st AOC mission during a virtual video tour

Lt. Col. Sharon Nehrings, a senior air defense officer at the 601st Air and Space Operations Center, talks about the AOC’s mission during a virtual video tour on the operations floor. Virtual video tours like this one are a way for the 601st AOC to share its mission around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Steve Burke)

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America’s AOC hosts first-of-its-kind virtual tour

Posted 7/3/2012   Updated 7/3/2012
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by Capt. Jared Scott
601st AOC Public Affairs

7/3/2012 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.  – The 601st Air and Space Operations Center, often referred to as America’s AOC, recently benchmarked a new first as students of Collinsville Middle School in Collinsville, Okla., got a first-hand look at the AOC’s operations floor by way of a live virtual video tour over the internet.

“The live video tour with Collinsville Middle School was a not only a first for America’s AOC, but for any AOC in the world,” said Col. Randy Spear, 601st AOC commander. “We are living in an age where QR codes and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are a part of our everyday vernacular. Virtual tours via the internet just seemed like a natural progression and a very effective way to tell our story.”

Kathy Prickett and students of her sixth grade class first viewed an America’s AOC welcome video introducing the class to the AOC’s mission. The video was followed with a live video tour, during which students were shown the AOC’s operations floor and spoke with members of America’s AOC.

“It was an awesome experience,” said Prickett. “My students in Oklahoma were able to see and hear how the AOC operates and how they protect our skies without us having to leave our classroom. We were able to go right to the source for our information. I look forward to the possibility of setting up another video tour with the AOC next year during our unit on aviation.”

Col. David Garner, 601st AOC Combat Operations Division chief, explained some of the issues the AOC faced in launching these video tours.

“Anytime you start a new process or program for the first time it’s going to present challenges,” said Colonel Garner. “For us, the issue was that our AOC’s operations floor normally operates in a classified environment. We can sanitize the area for tours, but we also need to have the ability to go back to full up operations at a moment’s notice.”

Solutions to issues like that took some creative thinking but the AOC has developed the proper technical solutions and procedures to deal with these issues.

“We treat these tours like we would if the people on the other side of the camera where actually here,” said Colonel Garner.

“By utilizing video tour capabilities, we are able to greatly expand who and how we share our mission,” said Colonel Garner. “We can literally show off our AOC to someone half way around the world, now that’s a tool that should be utilized.”

For schools interested in participating in a virtual video tour with member of America’s AOC, please contact the 601st AOC Public Affairs Officer, Capt. Jared Scott, at andrew.scott@tyndall.af.mil for further information.

Article source: http://www.1af.acc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123308602

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