Wing maintenance, logistics to merge with operations.
AIR FORCE PRINT NEWS (MAY 21, 2008)
WASHINGTON--On May 12, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley signed the Global Wing Structure Program Action Directive 08-01. PAD 08-01 directs the realignment of fighter, rescue, and bomber aircraft maintenance units under flying squadrons.
The Air Force will implement these changes between July 1 and Nov. 30. Major command officials will determine on what specific dates each participating wing will implement these changes.
"I believe the most effective formula is to structure Air Force units by mission and not by function, and aligning maintenance units responsible for sortie generation together with the flying squadrons they support is best for our Air Force," Moseley said when he made the announcement for such changes Dec. 7. "Aircraft maintenance is a vital element of a flying squadron's mission, and the maintainers who directly support sortie generation belong in that chain of command."
Maj. Gen. Robert H. McMahon. director of maintenance, deputy chief of staff for logistics, installations and mission support, believes these changes will strengthen the relationship between operators and maintainers.
"The difference is comparable to the relationship between neighbors and family," he said. "You know your neighbors but not as well as you know your family. You have a general idea of what your neighbors are doing, but it's not the same as what you know about your family. By marrying up these units, we will be better connected with each other and better able to understand each other's challenges and strengths."
Aligning aircraft maintenance units responsible for sortie generation with the flying squadrons they support provides combatant commanders with the most complete and capable fighting squadrons possible, officials said. It also allows the operations group commander to focus on the generation and employment of airpower. In short, it generates the mission generation command chain.
A new materiel group at wing-level will create a new structure that is aligned to better support the logistics enterprise, flying wings, and combatant commanders. The logistics readiness squadron, aerial support squadron, and the remaining maintenance squadrons form the materiel group and will consolidate traditional logistics functions under a single logistics leader in the wing. The global wing structure also positions the logistics community for future transformation initiatives.
"The squadron is the building block of Air Force organizational structure and must be organized for success," Moseley said. "These initiatives allow us to take advantage of process improvements, pool our resources, and reorient our squadrons around our mission."
In the past, the Air Force used an "objective wing" structure that merged maintainers and operators. However, there are differences between the objective wing structure and the new one. Major transformation initiatives are recasting how the Air Force is organized. Manpower reductions and budget challenges have led to many centralization and consolidation or regionalization initiatives.