Monday, July 18, 2011
U.S. Department of Defense: insignia of Unified Combatant Commands
Several expansive sections of my “Military Insignia 3D” project have been dedicated exclusively to Unified Combatant Commands of the Unites States. A Unified Combatant Command (UCC) is a United States Department of Defense command that is composed of forces from at least two Military Departments and has a broad and continuing mission. These commands are established to provide effective command and control of U.S. military forces, regardless of branch of service, in peace and war. They are organized either on a geographical basis (known as "Area of Responsibility", AOR) or on a functional basis. UCCs are "joint" commands with specific badges denoting their affiliation. Each unified commands is led by a Combatant Commander (CCDR), who is a four-star General or Admiral. CCDRs exercise combatant command (COCOM), a specific type of nontransferable command authority over assigned forces, regardless of branch of service that is vested only in the CCDRs by federal law. The Chain of Command for operational purposes goes from the President to the Secretary of Defense and from the Secretary of Defense to the Combatant Commanders.
The current system of unified commands in the US military emerged during World War II with the establishment of geographic theaters of operation composed of forces from multiple service branches that reported to a single commander who was supported by a joint staff. The number of UCCs is constantly changing, and commands are constantly being merged, created, activated and deactivated.
There are 10 Current Unified Combatant Commands. Below you will find their insignia, recreated as part of my “Military Insignia 3D” project. As always, I was polishing up my Multi-Layer Enhancement & Texturing Technique (or M-LETT 3D; I discuss it in detail in this post), and kept playing with new textures and inventing a few new tricks, utilizing virtually unlimited potential of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CS5.
In this post I will introduce insignia of all 10 UCCs. In real time, however, I already went much further and almost completed insignia of subordinate components for each UCC. In my future posts I will introduce each UCC along with all their components in more detail. Stay tuned.
The United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM or AFRICOM) is one of ten Unified Combatant Commands of the United States Armed Forces, headquartered at Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany. It is responsible for U.S. military operations and military relations with 53 African nations – an area of responsibility covering all of Africa except Egypt.
The Combatant Commander of U.S. Africa Command reports to the Secretary of Defense, who in turn reports to the President of the United States. In individual countries, U.S. Ambassadors continue to be the President's personal representatives in diplomatic relations with host nations.
United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) is a theater-level Unified Combatant Command unit of the U.S. armed forces, established in 1983 under the operational control of the U.S. Secretary of Defense. It was originally conceived of as the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF).
Its area of responsibility includes countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, most notably Afghanistan and Iraq. CENTCOM has been the main American presence in many military operations, including the Gulf War, the United States war in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War. Forces from CENTCOM currently are deployed primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan in combat roles and have bases in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan, and central Asia in support roles. CENTCOM forces have also been deployed in Jordan, and Saudi Arabia in the past, although no substantial forces are based in those countries as of 2009.
Of the six American regional unified commands, CENTCOM is one of three regional unified commands whose headquarters are not within its area of operations. CENTCOM's main headquarters is located at MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida, although a forward headquarters was established in 2002 at Camp As Sayliyah in Doha, Qatar, which transitioned to a new forward headquarters at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar in 2009 to serve American strategic interests of the Iraq region.
The United States European Command (EUCOM) is one of ten Unified Combatant Commands of the United States military, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. Its area of focus covers 21,000,000 square miles (54,000,000 km2) and 51 countries and territories, including Europe, Russia, Iceland, Greenland, and Israel. The Commander of EUCOM simultaneously serves as the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) within NATO.
EUCOM was established on 1 August 1952, to provide "unified command and authority" over all United States forces in Europe. During the Cold War and the Kosovo War, EUCOM was the lead command for potential operations. During the Gulf War and Operation Northern Watch, EUCOM controlled the forces flying from Incirlik Air Base.
Immediately after the terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, D.C., on 11 September 2001, NATO invoked Article V of the treaty and deployed NATO early warning aircraft to help monitor the skies over North America. EUCOM provided major forces for subsequent operations in Afghanistan and stepped up its efforts to protect United States interests in Europe and Africa. Subsequent terrorist attacks in the EUCOM theater in Casablanca, Madrid, London and Algiers prompted EUCOM to launch Operation Enduring Freedom Trans-Sahara in 2007 while continuing to provide rotational forces to Afghanistan and Iraq.
In 2003, the headquarters reorganized to establish the EUCOM Plans and Operations Center (EPOC). From 2006 to 2008, EUCOM helped stand-up a new geographic unified combatant command, United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), which took over responsibility for Department of Defense activities in Africa on 1 October 2008.
United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) is one of ten Unified Combatant Commands of the United States Armed Forces. Unlike the six commands with responsibility for war plans and operations in specified portions of the world, USJFCOM is a functional command that provides specific services to the military, and the only combatant command focused on the transformation of U.S. military capabilities. As directed by the President to identify opportunities to cut costs and rebalance priorities, Defense Secretary Robert Gates recommended in August 2010 that USJFCOM be disestablished and its essential functions assigned to other organizations. President Barack Obama approved the command's disestablishment 6 January 2011. The target date for disestablishment is set for no later than 31 August 2011.
USJFCOM was formed in 1999 when the old United States Atlantic Command was renamed and given a new mission: leading the transformation of the U.S. military through experimentation and education. USLANTCOM had been active from 1947 to 1993 as a primarily U.S. Navy command, focused upon the wartime defense of the Atlantic sea lanes against Soviet attack. After the end of the Cold War, a 1993 reorganization gave the Command a new acronym, USACOM, and brought United States Army Forces Command and Air Combat Command under its authority. In late 2004, U.S. Joint Forces Command assumed the role of primary conventional force provider. This landmark change assigned nearly all U.S. conventional forces to Joint Forces Command.
United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM, or informally just NORTHCOM) is a Unified Combatant Command of the United States military. Created on 1 October 2002 in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks, its mission is to protect the United States homeland and support local, state, and federal authorities. The support that USNORTHCOM provides to civil authorities is limited by the Posse Comitatus Act which limits the role of the U.S. military in civil law enforcement. However, in case of national emergencies, natural or man-made, its Air Forces Northern National Security Emergency Preparedness Directorate will take charge of the situation or event.
USNORTHCOM’s Area of Responsibility (AOR) includes air, land and sea approaches and encompasses the contiguous United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico and the surrounding water out to approximately 500 nautical miles (930 km). It also includes the Gulf of Mexico, the Straits of Florida, portions of the Caribbean region to include The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The commander of USNORTHCOM is responsible for theater security cooperation with Canada, Mexico, and The Bahamas. USNORTHCOM is composed of several standing Joint Task Forces (JTFs) previously assigned to United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM): Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region, Joint Task Force-Civil Support, Joint Task Force Alaska, and Joint Task Force North. USNORTHCOM service components include U.S. Fifth Army/ARNORTH, First Air Force/AFNORTH, and United States Fleet Forces Command.
The United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) is a Unified Combatant Command of the armed forces of the United States, led by the Commander, Pacific Command (CDRUSPACOM), is the supreme military authority for the various branches of the Armed Forces of the United States serving within its area of responsibility (AOR). Only the President of the United States, who is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and the Secretary of Defense advised by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) have greater authority. It is the oldest and largest of the ten Unified Combatant Commands. It is based in Honolulu, Hawai'i on the island of O'ahu.
The United States Pacific Command was established on 1 January 1947 by President Harry Truman and was originally headquartered in the Salt Lake subdivision of Honolulu. The main combat power of USPACOM is formed by U.S. Army Pacific, Marine Forces Pacific, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and Pacific Air Forces, all headquartered in Honolulu with component forces stationed throughout the region. The United States Pacific Command's area of jurisdiction covers over fifty percent of the world's surface area – approximately 105 million square miles (nearly 272 million square kilometers) – nearly sixty percent of the world's population, thirty-six countries, twenty territories, and ten territories and possessions of the United States.
The United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), located in Miami, Florida, is one of ten Unified Combatant Commands (COCOMs) in the United States Department of Defense. It is responsible for providing contingency planning and operations in Central and South America, the Caribbean (except U.S. commonwealths, territories, and possessions), Cuba, their territorial waters, and for the force of U.S. military resources at these locations. USSOUTHCOM is also responsible for ensuring the militarization of the Panama Canal and canal area.
Under the leadership of a four-star Commander, USSOUTHCOM is organized into a headquarters with six main directorates, component commands and military groups that represent SOUTHCOM in the region of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
USSOUTHCOM is a joint command of more than 1,200 military and civilian personnel representing the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and several other federal agencies. Civilians working at USSOUTHCOM are, for the most part, civilian employees of the Army, as the Army is USSOUTHCOM's Combatant Command Support Agent. The Services provide USSOUTHCOM with component commands which, along with their Joint Special Operations component, two Joint Task Forces, one Joint Interagency Task Force, and Security Cooperation Offices, perform USSOUTHCOM missions and activities. USSOUTHCOM exercises its COCOM authority through the commanders of its components, Joint Task Forces/Joint Interagency Task Force, and Security Cooperation Organizations
United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is the Unified Combatant Command charged with overseeing the various Special Operations Commands (SOC or SOCOM) of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps of the United States armed forces. The command is part of the Department of Defense. USSOCOM is headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.
USSOCOM conducts several covert and clandestine missions, such as unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, psychological operations, Civil Affairs, direct action, counter-terrorism and War on Drugs operations. Each branch has a Special Operations Command that is unique and capable of running its own operations, but when the different Special Operations Forces need to work together for an operation, USSOCOM becomes the joint component command of the operation, instead of a SOC of a specific branch.
United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) is one of the ten Unified Combatant Commands of the United States Department of Defense (DoD). The Command, including components, employs more than 2,700 people, representing all four services, including DoD civilians and contractors, who oversee the command's operationally focused global strategic mission.
Strategic Command was established in 1992 as a successor to Strategic Air Command (SAC).
It is charged with space operations (such as military satellites), information operations (such as information warfare), missile defense, global command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR), global strike and strategic deterrence (the United States nuclear arsenal), and combating weapons of mass destruction.
USSTRATCOM is headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base south of Omaha, Nebraska. In October 2002, USSTRATCOM merged with the United States Space Command (USSPACECOM).
USSTRATCOM is one of the four Unified Combatant Commands organized along a functional basis. The other six are organized on a geographical basis.
The United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) is one of ten unified commands of the United States Department of Defense. The mission of USTRANSCOM is to provide air, land and sea transportation for the Department of Defense, both in time of peace and time of war.
USTRANSCOM, located at Scott Air Force Base Illinois, was established in 1987. As the single manager of America's global defense transportation system, USTRANSCOM is tasked with the coordination of people and transportation assets to allow the US to project and sustain forces, whenever, wherever, and for as long as they are needed.
Composed of three component commands: The Air Force's Air Mobility Command, the Navy's Military Sealift Command and the Army's Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, USTRANSCOM coordinates missions worldwide using both military and commercial transportation resources. Agencies within the command headquarters include JOSAC (Joint Operational Support Airlift Center).
As always, the above insignia are available on a limited number of selected high quality products via my “Military Insignia” galleries exclusively from Zazzle.com. You can just follow the links in the article to get to the corresponding galleries.
I will also make my insignia designs available free of charge to any military units and personnel to be used for non-profit/non-commercial and charitable causes, benefiting troops and their families, as well as for non-commercial internal units’ duty-specific purposes, such as unit website design, training materials and presentations, as I have already done on a number of occasions.
The above information provided in part by The Institute of Heraldry, Global Security, Wikipedia and websites of certain Unified Combatant Commands