News: Team’s data research, analysis proves vital
SOUTHWEST ASIA – The holidays are a time of year for family and friends, but one San Antonio native instead spent it making sure key military leaders have the data they need to conduct current operations in Southwest Asia.
Maj. David Mills, a graduate of Texas State University, is an analyst with the U.S. Air Force’s Combined Air and Space Operations Center Operational Assessment team and helps collect, analyze and translate essential information for key decision makers throughout the U.S. Air Force Central Command area of responsibility.
The division provides analysis on short and long term priorities as determined by Lt. Gen. David Goldfein, the Combined Forces Air Component Commander. Other commanders in the AOR also use the information, analysis and predictive assessments the OAT provides to aide in critical decision making.
“Our main priority is to support the CFACC and other general officers with their requests for information or analysis,” said Lt. Col. Chris Cullenbine, the OAT chief.
There is no limit to the types of data the OAT can collect and analyze. Examples of important information they’ve provided include metrics on casualties in relation to kinetic events; weapons systems; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts; and combat aircraft sorties.
While ISAF transitions from a lead to support role in Afghanistan, many of OAT’s projects have been helpful to assist with the changes.
“We have been able to track activity on the [transition] to help show how our security forces are passing responsibilities to the [Afghan National Security Forces],” Mills said.
When a special request comes in, an OAT analyst will begin the research process of the subject. The team calls these requests science projects. The projects can be simple requests for additional information or in-depth research on a specific subject. Through coordination with subject matter experts and using their research tools, the OAT can break down the data, track trends from previous research and compare results with other projects to provide the comprehensive analysis needed.
Mills said his favorite part of the job is the people he works with.
“I am impressed everyday by the caliber of U.S. Air Force and sister-service personnel deployed to the AOR,” he said. “I also love the variety of problems and processes we get to analyze, every day has unique challenges, which keeps the work interesting and helps pass the days.”
Mills said he always wanted to join the military, and the Air Force drove him to combine his passion for math with that desire.
“I knew I would join the military at some point,” he said, “but I wasn’t intent on one service over another. The Air Force offered the most opportunity to apply my mathematics skills.”
Miller is deployed from Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, and is a member of the American Statistical Association.
The team’s research and analysis aid decisions on such things as how to apportion limited resources to maximize air support to the ground commanders or whether or not to change techniques for IED searches. As analysts from very different bases and missions throughout the Air Force, the members of OAT are able to come together with the collective objective of supporting the AOR missions with their analytical skills.
Date Posted:01.18.2013 03:04
Hometown:SAN ANTONIO, TX, US
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