MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Tucked away inside a building at MacDill Air Force Base is a work center unlike any other in the Air Force that hosts senior officials from allied nations from around the world.
While its name, the Coalition Coordination Center, is bolted on the outside walls, that doesn’t really answer the question of, “What do they actually do there?” Their purpose – the service members inside provide multinational insight to support global efforts against the war on terror.
The “Coalition Village,” as it’s commonly referred to, is a facet of U.S. Central Command, which houses 52 nations, ranging from the United Kingdom, Australia and Qatar, to countries such as Albania, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
Each nation at the Coalition Village is led by one senior national representative who acts as a liaison between CENTCOM and their host nation. Some senior officers also embed with U.S. armed forces to provide their insight into planning and strategy.
“Senior national representatives provide a direct link between CENTCOM and their host nation’s Chief of Defense, which allows a rapid flow of information between us and our allies in the region,” said U.S. Army Col. Roger Glenn, the division chief of the Coalition Village. “We have more than 180 uniformed personnel sharing information about what is going on in the area of operation.”
In one room of the compound, service members from multiple countries work side-by-side to analyze intelligence from their nation and share it with others.
“Our unit cohesion is what makes the CCC great,” said Glenn. “With all the nations working together in real-time, every aspect of the information shared is consistent, which allows everyone to be on the same page.”
The partnerships of the nations are formed by the sharing intelligence, as well as resources to use in the fight against ISIS. These resources range from weapons and ammunition to supplies and intelligence. Even if the foreign nation cannot provide a resource, they can still join the CCC to gain knowledge.
“All the nations in the CCC share a common enemy; ISIS,” said a representative from Qatar who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s mutually beneficial to the host nations and CENTCOM to build partnerships amongst each nation.”
Moving forward, the CCC plans to keep using embedded foreign officers and senior national representatives. During conflict, they provide vital information to leaders of multiple nations.
The number of representatives may change, but their impact toward the common goal of defeating ISIS and other violent extremist organizations remains the same.