United States Central Command

The United States Central Command (USCENTCOM or CENTCOM) is a theater-level Unified Combatant Command of the U.S. Department of Defense. It was established in 1983, taking over the 1980 Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF) responsibilities.

The CENTCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR) includes countries in West Asia, parts of North Africa, and Central Asia, most notably Afghanistan and Iraq. CENTCOM has been the main American presence in many military operations, including the Persian Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm, 1991), the War in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom, 2001–2014), and the Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003–2011). As of 2015, CENTCOM forces are deployed primarily in Afghanistan (Operation Resolute Support, 2015–present), Iraq and Syria (Operation Inherent Resolve, 2014–present) in supporting and advise-and-assist roles.

As of 1 September 2016, CENTCOM's commander was General Joseph Votel, U.S. Army.

Of all six American regional unified combatant commands, CENTCOM is among the three with headquarters outside its area of operations (the other two being USAFRICOM and USSOUTHCOM). CENTCOM's main headquarters is located at MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida. A forward headquarters was established in 2002 at Camp As Sayliyah in Doha, Qatar, which in 2009 transitioned to a forward headquarters at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

United States Central Command
Official CENTCOM Seal
Emblem of the United States Central Command
Country United States of America
TypeUnified Combatant Command
Part ofUnited States Department of Defense Seal.svg Department of Defense
HeadquartersMacDill Air Force Base
Tampa, Florida, U.S.
EngagementsPersian Gulf War
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
Combatant CommanderGeneral Joseph Votel, USA
Deputy CommanderGeneral Charles Brown, USAF[1]
General David Petraeus
Admiral William Fallon
General John Abizaid
General Tommy Franks
General Anthony Zinni
General Jim Mattis
General Norman Schwarzkopf
Central Command insignia


United States Central Command (CENTCOM) was established on January 1, 1983.[2] As its name implies, CENTCOM covers the "central" area of the globe located between the African, European and Indo-Pacific Commands. When the hostage crisis in Iran and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan underlined the need to strengthen U.S. interests in the region, President Jimmy Carter established the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF) in March 1980. Steps were taken to transform the RDJTF into a permanent unified command over a two-year period. The first step was to make the RDJTF independent of U.S. Readiness Command, followed by the activation of CENTCOM in January 1983. Overcoming skeptical perceptions that the command was still an RDJTF in all but name, designed to support a Cold War strategy, took time.

The Iran–Iraq War clearly underlined the growing tensions in the region, and developments such as Iranian mining operations in the Persian Gulf led to CENTCOM's first combat operations. On 17 May 1987, the USS Stark (FFG-31), conducting operations in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq War, was struck by Exocet missiles fired by an Iraqi aircraft, resulting in 37 casualties. Soon afterward, as part of what became known as the "Tanker War", the Federal government of the United States reflagged and renamed 11 Kuwaiti oil tankers. In Operation Earnest Will, these tankers were escorted by USCENTCOM's Middle East Force through the Persian Gulf to Kuwait and back through the Strait of Hormuz.[2]

By late 1988, the regional strategy still largely focused on the potential threat of a massive Soviet invasion of Iran. Exercise Internal Look has been one of CENTCOM's primary planning events. It had frequently been used to train CENTCOM to be ready to defend the Zagros Mountains from a Soviet attack and was held annually.[3] In autumn 1989, the main CENTCOM contingency plan, OPLAN 1002-88, assumed a Soviet attack through Iran to the Persian Gulf. The plan called for five-and-two-thirds US divisions to deploy, mostly light and heavy forces at something less than full strength (apportioned to it by the Joint Strategic Capability Plan [JSCAP]). The original plan called for these five-and-two-thirds divisions to march from the Persian Gulf to the Zagros Mountains and prevent the Soviet Ground Forces (army) from seizing the Iranian oil fields.[4]

After 1990, General Norman Schwarzkopf reoriented CENTCOM's planning to fend off a threat from Iraq, and Internal Look moved to a biennial schedule. There was a notable similarity between the 1990 Internal Look exercise scripts and the real-world movement of Iraqi forces which culminated in Iraq's invasion of Kuwait during the final days of the exercise.[3] U.S. President George Bush responded quickly. A timely deployment of forces and the formation of a coalition deterred Iraq from invading Saudi Arabia, and the command began to focus on the liberation of Kuwait. The buildup of forces continued, reinforced by United Nations Security Council Resolution 678, which called for Iraqi forces to leave Kuwait. On January 17, 1991, U.S. and coalition forces launched Operation Desert Storm with a massive air interdiction campaign, which prepared the theater for a coalition ground assault. The primary coalition objective, the liberation of Kuwait, was achieved on February 27, and the next morning a ceasefire was declared, just one hundred hours after the commencement of the ground campaign.

The end of formal hostilities did not bring the end of difficulties with Iraq. Operation Provide Comfort, implemented to provide humanitarian assistance to the Kurds and enforce a "no-fly" zone in Iraq, north of the 36th parallel, began in April 1991. In August 1992, Operation Southern Watch began in response to Saddam's noncompliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 688 condemning his brutal repression of Iraqi civilians in southeastern Iraq. Under the command and control of Joint Task Force Southwest Asia, coalition forces in this operation enforced a no-fly zone south of the 32nd parallel. In January 1997, Operation Northern Watch replaced Provide Comfort, with a focus on enforcing the northern no-fly zone. Throughout the decade, CENTCOM carried out a string of operations—Vigilant Warrior, Vigilant Sentinel, Desert Strike, Desert Thunder (I and II), and Desert Fox—to try to coerce Saddam into greater compliance with U.S. wishes.

The 1990s also brought significant challenges in Somalia as well as from the growing threat of regional terrorism. To prevent widespread starvation in the face of clan warfare, the command responded in 1992 with Operation Provide Relief to supply humanitarian assistance to Somalia and northeastern Kenya. CENTCOM's Operation Restore Hope supported UNSCR 794 and a multinational Unified Task Force, which provided security until the U.N. created UNOSOM II in May 1993. In spite of some UNOSOM II success in the countryside, the situation in Mogadishu worsened, and the significant casulties of the Battle of Mogadishu ultimately led President Bill Clinton to order the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Somalia. Throughout the decade following the Gulf War, terrorist attacks had a major impact on CENTCOM forces in the region. Faced with attacks such as the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers, which killed 19 American airmen, the command launched Operation Desert Focus, designed to relocate U.S. installations to more defensible locations (such as Prince Sultan Air Base), reduce the U.S. forward "footprint" by eliminating nonessential billets, and return dependents to the United States. In 1998 terrorists attacked the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 250 persons, including 12 Americans. The October 2000 attack on the USS Cole, resulting in the deaths of 17 U.S. sailors, was linked to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaida organization.

From April to July 1999, CENTCOM conducted Exercise Desert Crossing 1999, centered on the scenario of Saddam Hussein being ousted as Iraq's dictator. It was held in the offices of Booz Allen Hamilton in McLean, Virginia.[5]:6–7 The exercise concluded that unless measures were taken, "fragmentation and chaos" would ensue after Saddam Hussein's overthrow.

The September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC led President George W. Bush to declare a war against international terrorism. CENTCOM soon launched Operation Enduring Freedom to expel the Taliban government in Afghanistan, which was harboring Al Qaida terrorists and hosting terrorist training camps.

Exercise Internal Look has been employed for explicit war planning on at least two occasions: Internal Look '90, which dealt with a threat from Iraq, and Internal Look '03, which was used to plan what became Operation Iraqi Freedom. Iraqi Freedom, the 2003 United States invasion of Iraq, began on 19 March 2003.

Following the defeat of both the Taliban regime in Afghanistan (9 November 2001) and Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq (8 April 2003), CENTCOM has continued to provide security to the new freely-elected governments in those countries, conducting counterinsurgency operations and assisting host nation security forces to provide for their own defense.

Beginning in October 2002, CENTCOM conducted operations in the Horn of Africa to combat terrorism, establish a secure environment, and foster regional stability. These operations involved a series of Special Operations Forces raids, humanitarian assistance, consequence management, and a variety of civic action programs.

The command has also remained poised to provide disaster relief throughout the region; its most recent significant relief operations have been a response to the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, and the large-scale evacuation of American citizens from Lebanon in 2006.

YPG and US army Hassaka 1-5-2017
U.S. armored vehicle in Al-Hasakah, Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, May 2017

On 1 October 2008, the Department of Defense transferred responsibility for Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, and Somalia to the newly established Africa Command. Egypt, home to Exercise Bright Star, the Department of Defense's largest reoccurring military exercise, remained in the CENTCOM Area of Responsibility.

In January 2015, CENTCOM's Twitter feed was reported to have been hacked on 11 January by ISIS sympathizers.[6] This situation lasted for less than one hour; no classified information was posted and "none of the information posted came from CENTCOM's server or social media sites";[7] however, some of the slides came from the federally funded Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[6]

In August 2015, intelligence analysts working for CENTCOM complained to the media, alleging that CENTCOM's senior leadership was altering or distorting intelligence reports on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. In February 2017, the Inspector General of the United States Department of Defense completed its investigation and cleared the senior leadership of CENTCOM, concluding that "allegations of intelligence being intentionally altered, delayed or suppressed by top CENTCOM officials from mid-2014 to mid-2015 were largely unsubstantiated."[8]

In January 2018, Turkey urged the United States to remove its troops from Syrian city of Manbij, saying that otherwise they might come under attack from Turkish troops; however, CENTCOM commander Joseph Votel confirmed an American commitment to keeping troops in Manbij.[9]


CENTCOM's main headquarters is located at MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida. CENTCOM headquarters staff directorates include personnel, intelligence, operations, logistics, plans & policy, information systems, training & exercises, and resources, and other functions. The intelligence section is known as Joint Intelligence Center, Central Command, or JICCENT, which serves as a Joint Intelligence Center for the co-ordination of intelligence. Under the intelligence directorate, there are several divisions including the Afghanistan-Pakistan Center of Excellence.

CENTCOM directs four "service component commands" and one subordinate unified command and no fighting units directly subordinate to it:

The United States Army Central (USARCENT), and the United States Air Forces Central Command (USAFCENT), both headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, the United States Marine Forces Central Command (USMARCENT), headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida and the United States Naval Forces Central Command (USNAVCENT), headquartered at Naval Support Activity Bahrain in the Kingdom of Bahrain. MacDill Air Force Base also hosts a Sub-unified command called the Special Operations Command Central (USSOCCENT).

Two major subordinate multi-service commands reporting to Central Command were responsible for Afghanistan: Combined Joint Task Force 180 and Combined Forces Command Afghanistan (CFC-A). CFC-A was disestablished in February 2007.[10] From that point onward, the International Security Assistance Force directed most U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and a U.S. general, General Dan K. McNeill, assumed command of ISAF that same month.[11]

Temporary task forces include the Central Command Forward - Jordan (CF-J), which was announced in April 2013.[12] CF-J's stated purpose was to work with the Jordanian armed forces to improve the latter's capabilities.[12] There was speculation, however, that another reason for its establishment was to serve as a base from which raids into Syria could be launched to seize Syrian WMD if necessary, and as a launch pad for looming American military action in Syria.[13][14][15]

On 1 October 2008 Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti was transferred to United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM).[16] The United States Forces – Iraq or USF-I, was a major subordinate multi-service command during the Iraq War order of battle until it was disestablished in 2011.

Elements of other Unified Combatant Commands, especially United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), operate in the CENTCOM area. It appears that SOCCENT does not direct the secretive Task Force 88, the ad-hoc grouping of Joint Special Operations Command 'black' units such as Delta Force and Army Rangers, which is tasked to pursue the most sensitive high-value targets such as Al Qaeda and the Taliban leadership since 11 September 2001. Rather TF 77, which started out as Task Force 11 and has gone through a number of name/number changes, reports directly to Joint Special Operations Command, part of USSOCOM.

As of 2015 CENTCOM forces are deployed primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan in combat roles and have support roles at bases in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan, and central Asia. CENTCOM forces have also been deployed in Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

War planning

The following code names are known to have been associated with war planning per William Arkin:[17]:46

  • CENTCOM OPORDER 01-97, Force Protection
  • SOCEUR SUPPLAN 1001-90, 9 May 1989
  • CENTCOM CONPLAN 1010, July 2003
  • CENTCOM CONPLAN 1015-98, possible support to OPLAN 5027 for Korea, 15 March 1991
  • CENTCOM 1017, 1999
  • CONPLAN 1020
  • CONPLAN 1067, for possible Biological Warfare response
  • CENTCOM CONPLAN 1100-95, 31 March 1992

Globalsecurity.org also lists OPLAN 1002 (Defense of the Arabian Peninsula).

Geographic scope

In this map, CENTCOM Area Of Responsibility is shown in yellow

With the 1983 establishment of CENTCOM Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti came within the area of responsibility (AOR). Thus CENTCOM directed the 'Natural Bond' exercises with Sudan, the 'Eastern Wind' exercises with Somalia, and the 'Jade Tiger' exercises with Oman, Somalia, and Sudan. Exercise Jade Tiger involved the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit with Oman from 29 November 1982 – 8 Dec 1982.[17]:404

Israel is surrounded by CENTCOM countries but remains in United States European Command (EUCOM). General Norman Schwarzkopf expressed the position over Israel frankly in his 1992 autobiography: 'European Command also kept Israel, which from my viewpoint was a help: I'd have had difficulty impressing the Arabs with Central Command's grasp of geopolitical nuance if one of the stops on my itinerary had been Tel Aviv.'[18]:318

On 7 February 2007, plans were announced for the creation of a United States Africa Command which transferred strategic interest responsibility for all of Africa to the new USAFRICOM, except for Egypt. On 1 October 2008, the Africa Command became operational and Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, the primary CENTCOM force on the continent, started reporting to AFRICOM at Stuttgart instead of CENTCOM in Tampa.

The U.S. armed forces use a variable number of base locations depending on its level of operations. With ongoing warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003, the United States Air Force used 35 bases, while in 2006 it used 14, including four in Iraq. The United States Navy maintains one major base and one smaller installation, with extensive deployments afloat and ashore by U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard ships, aviation units and ground units.


As of March 2016, GEN Joseph Votel is commander. He took command from General Lloyd Austin, United States, who took command from Mattis, who took command from [19][20][21] Lieutenant General John R. Allen, USMC, the deputy commander since July 2008, who took temporary command when the previous commander, General David Petraeus, USA, left to take command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan on 23 June 2010.[22]

No. Image Name Service Start End Time in office
1. General Robert Kingston, official military photo, 1984.JPEG GEN Robert Kingston United States Army 1 January 1983 27 November 1985 1,061 days
2. General George Crist, official military photo, 1985.JPEG Gen George B. Crist United States Marine Corps 27 November 1985 23 November 1988 1,092 days
3. NormanSchwarzkopf GEN H. Norman Schwarzkopf United States Army 23 November 1988 9 August 1991 989 days
4. Joseph Hoar official military photo Gen Joseph P. Hoar United States Marine Corps 9 August 1991 5 August 1994 1,092 days
5. General Binford Peay, official military photo, 1991 GEN J. H. Binford Peay III United States Army 5 August 1994 13 August 1997 1,104 days
6. Anthony Zinni Gen Anthony Zinni United States Marine Corps 13 August 1997 6 July 2000 1,058 days
7. TommyFranks GEN Tommy Franks United States Army 6 July 2000 7 July 2003 1,096 days
8. John Abizaid GEN John Abizaid United States Army 7 July 2003 16 March 2007 1,348 days
9. ADM Fallon Portrait ADM William J. Fallon United States Navy 16 March 2007 28 March 2008 378 days
(Acting) General Martin E. Dempsey LTG Martin Dempsey United States Army 28 March 2008 31 October 2008 217 days
10. GEN David H Petraeus - Uniform Class A GEN David Petraeus United States Army 31 October 2008 30 June 2010 607 days
(Acting) LtGen John R. Allen USMC LtGen John R. Allen United States Marine Corps 30 June 2010 11 August 2010 42 days
11. Mattis Centcom 2009 Gen Jim Mattis United States Marine Corps 11 August 2010 22 March 2013 954 days
12. Austin 2013 2 GEN Lloyd Austin United States Army 22 March 2013 30 March 2016 1,104 days
13. General Joseph L. Votel (USCENTCOM) GEN Joseph Votel United States Army 30 March 2016 Incumbent 1,022 days

Unit decorations

The unit awards depicted below are for Headquarters, US Central Command at MacDill AFB. Award for unit decorations do not apply to any subordinate organization such as the service component commands or any other activities unless the orders specifically address them.

Award streamer Award Dates Notes
Streamer JMUA Joint Meritorious Unit Award 2 August 1990 – 21 April 1991 Department of the Army General Order (DAGO) 1991-22 & 1992-34[23]
Streamer JMUA Joint Meritorious Unit Award 1 August 1992 – 4 May 1993 DAGO 1994-12 & 1996-01
Streamer JMUA Joint Meritorious Unit Award 8 October 1994 – 16 March 1995 DAGO 2001–25
Streamer JMUA Joint Meritorious Unit Award 1 September 1996 – 6 January 1997 Joint Staff Permanent Order (JSPO) J-ISO-0012-97
Streamer JMUA Joint Meritorious Unit Award 1 October 1997 – 15 July 1998 JSPO J-ISO-0241-98
Streamer JMUA Joint Meritorious Unit Award 16 July 1998 – 1 November 1999 JSPO J-ISO-0330-99 / DAGO 2001–25
Streamer JMUA Joint Meritorious Unit Award 2 November 1999 – 15 March 2001
Streamer JMUA Joint Meritorious Unit Award 11 September 2001 – 1 May 2003 DAGO 2005–09
Streamer JMUA Joint Meritorious Unit Award 2 May 2003 – 31 December 2005
Streamer JMUA Joint Meritorious Unit Award 1 January 2006 – 1 March 2008 JSPO J-ISO-0061-08
Streamer JMUA Joint Meritorious Unit Award 2 March 2008 – 1 July 2010
Streamer JMUA Joint Meritorious Unit Award 2 July 2010 – 31 July 2012

See also


  1. ^ "LEADERSHIP".
  2. ^ a b Anthony Cordesman, USCENTCOM Mission and History, Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 1998
  3. ^ a b Norman Schwarzkopf (1993). It Doesn't Take a Hero. Bantam Books paperback edition. pp. 331–2, 335–6. ISBN 0-553-56338-6.Harold Coyle's novel Sword Point gives an impression of what such planning envisaged, by a U.S. Army officer who would have had some idea of the general planning approach.
  4. ^ Swain, Richard Moody. Lucky War: Third Army in Desert Storm. U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Press. p. 6 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Gordon, Michael R.; Trainor, Bernard E. (2012). The Endgame: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Iraq, from George W. Bush to Barack Obama. New York: Pantheon Books. ISBN 978-0-307-37722-7.
  6. ^ a b "U.S. Central Command Twitter feed appears hacked by Islamic State sympathizers". Reuters. 12 January 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  7. ^ CHRIS GOOD, JOSHUA COHAN and LEE FERRAN (12 January 2015). "Home> International 'Cybervandalism': ISIS Supporters Hijack US Military Social Media Accounts". ABC. ABC news Internet Venture. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  8. ^ Cohen, Zachary (1 February 2017). "Report: Centcom leaders didn't cook ISIS intelligence". CNN. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  9. ^ CNN, Euan McKirdy, (29 January 2018). "US general: US troops won't withdraw from Syrian city of Manbij". CNN.
  10. ^ Goldman, Jan (ed.). The War on Terror Encyclopedia: From the Rise of Al-Qaeda to 9/11 and Beyond. pp. 100–101 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ Auerswald and Saideman, 2014, 96f
  12. ^ a b Parrish, Karen (15 August 2013). "Dempsey Visits U.S. Troops Serving in Jordan". American Forces Press Service. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  13. ^ Nasser, Nicola (12 September 2013). "Amman's shaky claims to neutrality". Al-Ahram. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  14. ^ Shanker, Thom (15 August 2013). "With Eyes on Syria, U.S. Turns Warehouse Into Support Hub for Jordan". nytimes.com. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  15. ^ McMorris-Santoro, Evan (31 August 2013). "Obama: I Have Decided To Bomb Syria, But I Want Congress To Weigh In First". buzzfeed.com. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  16. ^ "Africans Fear Hidden U.S. Agenda in New Approach to Africom". Associated Press. 2008-09-30. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  17. ^ a b Arkin, William (25 January 2005). Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs and Operations in the 9/11 World (First ed.). Steerforth. ISBN 1586420836.
  18. ^ Norman Schwarzkopf (1993). It Doesn't Take a Hero. Bantam Books paperback edition. pp. 331–2, 335–6. ISBN 0-553-56338-6.
  19. ^ "Mattis takes over Central Command, vows to work with Mideast allies in Afghanistan, Iraq". Fox News Channel. Associated Press. 11 August 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  20. ^ Mitchell, Robbyn (12 August 2010). "Mattis takes over as CentCom chief". St. Petersburg Times. p. 1. Archived from the original on 12 October 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  21. ^ "Mattis assumes command of CENTCOM". U.S. Central Command. 11 August 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  22. ^ "Lt. Gen. Allen named CENTCOM acting commander" (Press release). U.S. Central Command. 30 June 2010. Archived from the original on 3 July 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
  23. ^ "Department of the Army General Orders". United States Army Publishing Directorate. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2011. (Army Knowledge Online account may be required.)


External links

384th Air Expeditionary Group

The 384th Air Expeditionary Group (384 AEG) is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Combat Command. The 384 AEG may be activated or inactivated at any time.

Its last assignment was with to the United States Central Command Air Forces, being stationed at Shaikh Isa Air Base, Bahrain. It was inactivated on 3 September 2003.

During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 384th Bombardment Group was a VIII Bomber Command B-17 Flying Fortress unit in England. Assigned to RAF Grafton Underwood in early 1943, the group dropped the last Eighth Air Force bombs of the war on 25 April 1945.

384th Air Expeditionary Wing

The 384th Air Expeditionary Wing is an inactive unit of the United States Air Force. Its last assignment was with the United States Central Command Air Forces, being stationed at Shaikh Isa Air Base, Bahrain. It was inactivated in 2004. The wing's mission is largely undisclosed. However, it is known that one of its missions was aerial refueling of combat aircraft.

457th Air Expeditionary Group

The United States Air Force's 457th Air Expeditionary Group is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Combat Command. The 457 AEG may be activated or inactivated at any time.

Its last assignment was to the United States Central Command Air Forces, being stationed at RAF Fairford, England, for duty during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. It was inactivated sometime after the active combat phase of the operation ended.

During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was an Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress unit stationed in England. It was activated on 1 July 1943 under General Order 98. Assigned to RAF Glatton in early 1944, the group carried out 236 combat missions over Occupied Europe and Nazi Germany. Total number of sorties was 7,086 with nearly 17,000 tons of bombs and 142 tons of leaflets being dropped.

4th Psychological Operations Group

The 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) (formerly the 4th Military Information Support Group (Airborne) or 4th POG)) is one of the United States Army's active military information support operations units along with the 8th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne), which was activated 26 August 2011 at Fort Bragg. The 8th Group has responsibility for the 1st, 5th and 9th Psychological Operations battalions. The 4th Group has responsibility for the 3rd, 6th, 7th and 8th battalions, with a total of about 800 soldiers.On 21 June 2010, an announcement was made that the military intends to rename psychological operations, or PSYOP, to Military Information Support Operations. The decision, made a few days earlier by Admiral Eric Olson, Commander, United States Special Operations Command and Army's Chief of Staff General George Casey, was propagated through a memo dated 23 June 2010. By October 2017, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) reverted its decision changing their name back to PSYOP stating, “Psychological operations refers to the name of units, while MISO refers to the function that soldiers in PSYOP units perform.”The unit is based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and is a part of the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), under the United States Army Special Operations Command. The 4th POG was constituted 7 November 1967 in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Psychological Operations Group. Activated 1 December 1967 in Vietnam. Inactivated 2 October 1971 at Fort Lewis, Washington. Activated 13 September 1972 at Fort Bragg.

Anthony Zinni

Anthony Charles Zinni (born September 17, 1943) is a former United States Marine Corps general and a former Commander in Chief of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM). In 2002, he was selected to be a special envoy for the United States to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

While serving as special envoy, Zinni was also an instructor in the Department of International Studies at the Virginia Military Institute. Currently, he is an instructor at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, a public speaker, and an author of best-selling books on his military career and foreign affairs, including Battle for Peace. As of 2005, he was involved in the corporate world, joining M.I.C. Industries as its president for International Operations in 2005.

Zinni also serves or has served on the advisory boards of a number of companies, including the security testing firm, Mu Dynamics, based in Sunnyvale, California. He joined Duke University's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy in Spring 2008 as the Sanford Distinguished Lecturer in Residence and taught a new course in the Hart Leadership Program.He has been credited for foresight in predicting the dangers of terrorism coming out of Afghanistan before the September 11 attacks of 2001 and supporting the Iraq War troop surge of 2007. In October 2009 he came out firmly in support of General Stanley A. McChrystal's request for up to 40,000 additional troops in Afghanistan.

Jay W. Hood

Jay W. Hood is a retired United States Army Major General. His final assignment was as Chief Of Staff of the United States Central Command. His previous assignments include Commander of First Army, Division East, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland Commanding General of Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO), Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Assistant Division Commander (Forward), 24th Infantry Division and Deputy Commanding General (South), First Army, Fort Gillem, Georgia; Commander, 82nd Airborne Division Artillery and Commander, 3rd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, 82nd Airborne, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Commander, Battery D, 4th Battalion (Airborne), 325th Infantry (Battalion Combat Team), U.S. Army Southern European Task Force; and Commander, Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. General Hood is a graduate of Pittsburg (KS) State University

Joint Intelligence Center

A Joint Intelligence Center (JIC) is a focal point for military intelligence gathered by different intelligence agencies and administered by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The intelligence center of the joint force headquarters. The joint intelligence center is responsible for providing and producing the intelligence required to support the joint force commander and staff, components, task forces and elements, and the national intelligence community.

There are Joint Intelligence Centers in the United States Central Command at Tampa, Florida, the United States Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii, and in Europe. The Joint Analysis Center serves as a JIC for the United States European Command.

Joseph P. Hoar

General Joseph P. Hoar (born December 30, 1934) is a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer, former Commander in Chief of United States Central Command. He retired from the Corps on September 1, 1994.

Joseph Votel

Joseph Leonard Votel (born February 14, 1958) is a four-star general in the United States Army who has been commander of United States Central Command since March 2016. Before that, he served as commander of the United States Special Operations Command.

Khyber Border Coordination Center

The Khyber Border Coordination Center is a joint military intelligence center located near Torkham, Afghanistan. The purpose of the facility is to facilitate the sharing of information between Afghanistan, Pakistan, the International Security Assistance Force, and NATO government and military personnel in their war on Taliban forces in the Khyber Pass area. The center, managed primarily by the United States was officially opened on March 29, 2008 and became operational in July 2008. The center is the first of six scheduled to open along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Lloyd Austin

Lloyd James Austin III (born August 8, 1953) is a retired United States Army general. He was the 12th commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM). Austin was the first African American to head the organization. Prior to his assignment in CENTCOM, Austin served as the 33rd Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army from January 31, 2012, to March 8, 2013. His assignments prior to CENTCOM were as the last Commanding General of United States Forces – Iraq, Operation New Dawn, which ended on December 18, 2011, and then Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army. On December 6, 2012, the Pentagon announced that President Barack Obama had nominated Austin to lead the U.S. Central Command. Austin was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 5, 2013, and assumed command on March 22, 2013. On April 5, 2016, Austin's retirement ceremony took place at Joint Base Myer–Henderson Hall. He received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and others.

General Austin currently serves on the Board of Directors of three publicly-traded companies: Tenet Healthcare, United Technologies and Nucor Corporation.


The M1151 Enhanced Armament Carrier is an improved version of the standard Humvee (HMMWV) designed to replace the M1025A2 used by the United States Armed Forces as a response to United States Central Command requirements.

The M1151 HMMWV has a heavier chassis and improved engine to handle add-on armor. It is built on an Expanded Capacity Vehicle chassis, which allows for more passengers or additional supplies (up to 2,300 lbs).

Its two- or four-seat variant is the M1152 Enhanced Troop/Cargo/Shelter Carrier, designed to replace the M1097A2 Heavy HMMWV and M1113 Expanded Capacity Vehicle.AM General of South Bend, Ind., was awarded a $59,963,442 contract for 814 M1152s and 31 M1151s and a $19,617,847 contract to buy and install armor kits for the M1151.

Michael P. DeLong

Lieutenant General Michael Phillip "Riffle" DeLong (March 15, 1945 – July 27, 2018) was a United States Marine Corps Lieutenant General who served as Deputy Commander, United States Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. From 2000 until his retirement in 2003 (with over 36 years of service), Lieutenant General DeLong was Second-in-command to General Tommy Franks who as Commander of United States Central Command was in charge of the war on terror including Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Norman Schwarzkopf Jr.

Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. (; August 22, 1934 – December 27, 2012) was a United States Army General. While serving as the commander of United States Central Command, he led all coalition forces in the Gulf War.

Born in Trenton, New Jersey, Schwarzkopf grew up in the United States and later in Iran. He was accepted by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army in 1956. After a number of initial training programs, Schwarzkopf interrupted a stint as an academy teacher, and served in the Vietnam War first as an adviser to the South Vietnamese Army and later as a battalion commander. Schwarzkopf was highly decorated in Vietnam, being awarded three Silver Star Medals, two Purple Hearts, and the Legion of Merit. Rising through the ranks after the conflict, he later commanded the U.S. 24th Infantry Division and was one of the commanders of the Invasion of Grenada in 1983.

Assuming command of United States Central Command in 1988, Schwarzkopf was called on to respond to the Invasion of Kuwait in 1990 by the forces of Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Initially tasked with defending Saudi Arabia from Iraqi aggression, Schwarzkopf's command eventually grew to an international force of over 750,000 troops. After diplomatic relations broke down, he planned and led Operation Desert Storm—an extended air campaign followed by a highly successful 100-hour ground offensive—which defeated the Iraqi Army and liberated Kuwait in early 1991. Schwarzkopf was presented with military honors.

Schwarzkopf retired shortly after the end of the war and undertook a number of philanthropic ventures, only occasionally stepping into the political spotlight before his death from complications of pneumonia in late 2012. A hard-driving military commander with a strong temper, Schwarzkopf was considered an exceptional leader by many biographers and was noted for his abilities as a military diplomat and in dealing with the press.

Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force

The Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF) is an inactive United States Department of Defense Joint Task Force. It was first envisioned as a three-division force in 1979 as the Rapid Deployment Force, or RDF, a highly mobile force that could be rapidly moved to locations outside the normal overseas deployments in Europe and Korea. Its charter was expanded and greatly strengthened in 1980 as the RDJTF.

It was inactivated in 1983, and re-organized as the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM).

After the end of the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War, U.S. attention gradually focused on the Persian Gulf region. The Yom Kippur War of 1973, the Soviet-U.S. confrontation and the subsequent 1973/1974 oil crisis led to President Richard Nixon issuing a U.S. warning, "...that American military intervention to protect vital oil supplies" was a possibility, served to increase attention on the area as being vital to U.S. national interests.

United States Africa Command

The United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM, U.S. AFRICOM, and AFRICOM), is one of ten unified combatant commands of the United States Armed Forces, headquartered at Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany. It is responsible for U.S. military operations, including fighting regional conflicts and maintaining military relations with 53 African nations. Its area of responsibility covers all of Africa except Egypt, which is within the area of responsibility of the United States Central Command. U.S. AFRICOM headquarters operating budget was $276 million in fiscal year 2012.The Commander of U.S. AFRICOM reports to the Secretary of Defense. In individual countries, U.S. Ambassadors continue to be the primary diplomatic representative for relations with host nations.

United States Air Forces Central Command

United States Air Forces Central Command (USAFCENT/AFCENT) is a Named Air Force of the United States Air Force headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. It is the Air Force Service Component of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), a joint Department of Defense combatant command responsible for U.S. security interests in 27 nations that stretch from the Horn of Africa through the Persian Gulf region, into Central Asia.Activated as 9th Air Force on 8 April 1942, the command fought in World War II both in the Western Desert Campaign in Egypt and Libya and as the tactical fighter component of the United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe (USSTAF), engaging enemy forces in France, the Low Countries and in Nazi Germany. During the Cold War, it was one of two Numbered Air Forces of Tactical Air Command.

Co-designated as United States Central Command Air Forces (CENTAF) on 1 January 1983, on 2009 as part of a complicated transfer of lineage, the lineage and history of the Ninth Air Force was bestowed on USAFCENT, and a new Ninth Air Force, which technically had no previous history, was activated. It has fought in the 1991 Gulf War, War in Afghanistan (OEF-A, 2001–present), the Iraq War (OIF, 2003–2010), as well as various engagements within USCENTCOM.

United States Naval Forces Central Command

United States Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) is the United States Navy element of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM). Its area of responsibility includes the Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, and Arabian Sea. It consists of the United States Fifth Fleet and several other subordinate task forces, including Combined Task Force 150, Combined Task Force 158 and others.

William J. Fallon

William Joseph Fallon (born December 30, 1944) is a retired United States Navy four-star admiral who retired after serving for over 41 years. His last military assignment was as Commander, U.S. Central Command from March 2007 to March 2008. ADM Fallon was the first Navy officer to hold that position. His other four-star assignments include Commander, U.S. Pacific Command from February 2005 to March 2007, Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command from October 2003 to February 2005, and 31st Vice Chief of Naval Operations from October 2000 to August 2003. On March 11, 2008, he announced his resignation from CENTCOM and retirement from active duty, citing administrative complications caused in part by an article in Esquire Magazine, which described him as the only thing standing between the Bush Administration and war with Iran.

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