'Internal Look' to Test CENTCOM Command and Control Capabilities
By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2002 A joint exercise in early December will test U.S. Central Command's ability to provide command and control from a forward-deployed location.
Army Gen. Tommy Franks, CENTCOM commander, described Exercise Internal Look in a Pentagon media briefing today.
"Combatant commands in our country have not, by and large, had deployable command and control capabilities like their smaller formations have for a long, long time," Franks said.
In militarese, such deployable command and control elements are called TOCs (pronounced "tocks"), short for tactical operations centers. CENTCOM will deploy one such TOC from its headquarters in Tampa, Fla., to the small Persian Gulf nation of Qatar beginning in late November.
The general described the TOC as "containers of communications gear, very large communications pipes that we're able to put in the back of an airplane, fly it a long ways, land it on the ground and then set up a command and control complex."
Franks said the actual exercise period would be for a week to 10 days in early December. Add deployment and tear-down time and U.S. forces will be involved in the exercise for a month to six weeks, he said.
The TOC will be set up in Qatar to test its communications capabilities to all forces in the Central Command area of operations. Franks said it is important to verify the capability to talk to air, land, maritime and special operations components.
No decision has been made concerning the disposition of the TOC after Internal Look is finished, Franks said. He described three possibilities: "Pack it all up" and bring it back to Tampa; leave the components in Qatar with staff officers to man them; or bring the staff officers home and leave a caretaker detachment with the TOC elements in Qatar.
"And actually, we haven't decided yet which of those courses to take," Franks said.