Wing initiatives, innovation highlight discussion during ACC commander visit

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  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Air Combat Command’s top leaders stopped by the 552nd Air Control Wing July 20, 2021, to learn about new wing initiatives and spend time with Airmen.

During the visit, Gen. Mark Kelly commander of ACC and Command Chief Master Sgt. David Wade, of ACC also discussed innovations and capabilities, mission readiness, and weapons systems to accelerate change and bring the future faster.

“Our Air Force has to be able to compete in the highly contested sovereigns; developing Airmen to be specialists is widening the breadth of capabilities,” said Kelly.

One of the two new initiatives discussed during the general’s visit is the Combat Air Forces Forced Generation model that is based on the way the Navy handles deployments. The CAFFORGEN model is a four-bin model of training, deploying, resetting and being ready to go again.

The second initiative is Combat Oriented Maintenance Organization that will align maintenance squadrons with operations squadrons supporting the development of relationships between the maintainers and the air crews.

In response to skepticism of new initiatives Kelly said, “If we stay entrenched in history, we will be part of history.” He explained that modifications are necessary to achieve mission readiness and combat conventional deterrence.

When Kelly was at Tinker in April to visit the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex’s F135 Heavy Maintenance Center, he took time to stop by the 552nd ACW to talk about the status of the wing’s facilities and the aging infrastructure.

The most recent visit allowed the general to get a better understanding of how the wing continues to provide combat-ready theater battle management forces and ground mobile command control and communications radar units for combatant commanders worldwide despite those constraints. According to Kelly, he sees similar infrastructure issues across Air Combat Command.

During the visit, Kelly also recognized outstanding performers Staff Sgt. John Espiritu with the 552nd Air Control Group, Master Sgt. Sean Baek with the 552nd Maintenance Group, Staff Sgt. Michael Brum from the 552nd Training and the Operations Group, and Maj. Solange Douglass with the 552nd Operations Squadron. Additionally, Maj. Jessica Beauregard with the 552nd Operations Support Squadron received the ACC level award, Sword Athena 2021.

The 552nd ACW provides combat-ready theater battle management forces and mobile command control, and communications by deploying and supporting these forces worldwide ensuring combat capability for all peacetime and contingency operations.