KSLA Salutes: The masterminds behind the missions

KSLA Salutes SMAC, winner of the coveted team of the year award

Barksdale AFB, LA (KSLA) - SMAC is the Standoff Munitions Application Center.

"We are a crew of about 35 total force airmen to include active duty, reserve, air force civilian and contractors," explained SMAC Executive Officer, Major Carl Chen.

They aren't your average Air Force Team. Their jobs are put to the test when our country needs to show force.

"When our bombers go and are engaging in an operation that requires standoff weapons to obviously be back a little more in safety, then our center coordinates with all the appropriate parties to make sure that plan goes off without a hitch," said SMAC Planner Major Melissa Praiswater.

As SMAC Team Chief, Major Matthew Middlebrooks, explains, it’s not just the physical side either.

"We also work with all of the non-kinetic space, cyber and electronic warfare," he said, "We make sure the timing and tempo of all of those meets the commander's intent."

Coordinating every move, anticipating alternative scenarios and ways to adjust at a moments notice.

"These weapons that we deal with are very expensive, to the tune of about $1 million apiece, and if they are lost in combat not only is that a large monetary loss, but we usually only send them after pretty big targets," added Major Chen, "So we want to make sure they get through and survive and make it to their target."

"So we need to know what airspace it's allowed to fly through. Are we coordinating the strike with other countries, even with another services within the US military, because the Navy has standoff weapons as well. (and) So we coordinate with the Navy and we coordinate with different weapons that the bombers or the fighters might be carrying," detailed Major Praiswater, "So it's not just airspace, it's also timing, it's also targets, they're constantly changing and updating and all of those things have different experts and require different levels of coordination so having a central organization that knows who to talk to and what about is critical."

Essentially they're the brains in nearly every Air Force Operation, allowing aircrews to do what they do best, and that's fly their respective planes.

"We hand them a plan fully executable ready for them to go do the country's bidding," said Major Middlebrooks.

Still in it's infancy stage, the SMAC has only been up and running for less than a year, but it's already proven to be a critical role, long needed when it comes to ensuring the success of any given mission.

Their efforts haven't gone unnoticed as they were awarded the 8th Air Force and Joint Global Strike Operations Center's coveted title of Team of the Year.

"To have our team actually win that award it's very humbling and I get to see the men and women day today do what they do to make sure that our aircrew is safe," said Lt Col Lonnie Lingafelter, SMAC Commander.

Using strategic deterrence and force on demand.

“It’s nice to have these guys on our side,” continued Lt Col Lingafelter, “(because) I feel sorry for the adversary when they have to meet something that was planned by the SMAC organization.”

Ensuring our nation’s ability to deploy forces and engage threats anywhere, any time.

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