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Kessel Run delivers JIGSAW to NATO forces

Kessel Run delivers JIGSAW to NATO forces

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Detachment 12, also known as Kessel Run, has partnered with Headquarters, Supreme Allied Command Transformation to use JIGSAW for tanker fuel mission planning. (Kessel Run image)

BOSTON (AFLCMC) – Kessel Run recently partnered with Headquarters, Supreme Allied Command Transformation (HQ SACT) to deliver a software application, used to plan air-to-air refueling (AAR) operations, to two NATO units as part of a foreign military sale (FMS) earlier this year.

The United States Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Detachment 12, also known as Kessel Run, developed JIGSAW; the tanker fuel planning application in use since 2017. It has helped save the DoD more than $500 million dollars in fuel costs and greatly reduced the time associated with planning refueling missions, enhancing combat capabilities through its increased coordination.

With the stewardship HQ SACT, JIGSAW was successfully deployed for evaluation at two NATO units: at the Deployable Air Command and Control Centre (DACCC), in Poggio-Renatico, Italy, Sept. 9-14, during an independent NATO exercise; and at the Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) South in Torrejon, Spain, Sept. 15-16, during the Torrejon Advantage Drill (TAD).

“By engaging in this strategic partnership with Kessel Run - we have been able to acquire the licence for JIGSAW, which has allowed NATO to experiment with that software,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Clow, the NATO FMS Officer for JIGSAW with the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Supreme Allied Command Transformation Headquarters. “The purpose of this is two-fold: to build a strategic relationship with Det 12, in order to help inform and advise the creation of an organic software development at HQ SACT, as well as to experiment and accelerate requirement and capability development on this particular need, which is air-to-air refueling planning.”

Clow said the exercises gave the NATO units the ability to thoroughly test the application; the results of which were its immediate implementation as the primary means to execute refueling missions.

“Compared to the legacy method, the actual planning time to generate a plan is 800% faster and overall the process requires half the people, for half the time,” Clow said. “When the user says ‘I trust this. This works the way I think about doing this task and I don't need to use that legacy method anymore,’ that is the ultimate datapoint - the user.”

Kessel Run has a proven track record in enhancing efficiency, saving cost and modernizing the way the Air Force operates with its agile software development. With its user-centered approach to development, Kessel Run’s mission is to rapidly deliver combat capabilities to warfighters and revolutionize the Air Force software acquisition process.

“We are preparing our allies for tomorrow's fights today by providing them with software solutions that warfighters love,” said Col. Brian Beachkofski, commander of Kessel Run. “Kessel Run’s applications are operational, and our allies are getting to experience that first hand.”