By Paul Drewes
HICKAM (KHNL) - Hawaii based ships and planes are preparing to fight. In an exercise that will test the readiness of not only those at the controls, but also those who are preparing for war.
At the command center at Hickam Air Force Base, they're preparing to launch nearly a hundred fighter planes. But the planes aren't here in Hawaii, instead they're thousands of miles away in Guam, where exercise Valiant Shield is being held.
"Where headquarters are located is less relevant now, because we're able to network and provide command and control for fighters in the field," says US Air Force Col. Ken Griffin.
Command and control involves a lot of personnel, not just from the Air Force, but also the Navy and Army. From intelligence gathering and surveillance of the opposing force, to communication specialists relaying critical information.
During the exercise or a real situation, representatives from each branch of the military would be communicating with their forces, where ever they are in the pacific.
Like the Rimpac exercises held in Hawaii, Valiant Shield brings together these different groups, so they are all on the same page when it really counts.
"We need to train together to exercise our joint capabilities and synchronize what we will do in wartime," says Griffin.
But the busy Hawaii command center, can also play a role during peacetime, as it showed during the deadly Southeast Asia tsunami.
"We mobilized very quickly, we were packing up relief supplies, support personnel, ships to get relief capability on the ground," adds Griffin.