Total Force Integration; proving we are stronger together

  • Published
  • By Meagan Hannon
  • 552nd Air Control Wing

The 552nd Air Control Wing recently underwent a health assessment of its Total Force Integration efforts with the Reserve’s 513th Air Control Group. The Total Force Assessment, completed by Headquarters Air Force Directorate of Total Force Integration, was a multi-day deep dive into the relationship and integration between the two units and their installation.

While at Tinker Air Force Base, the team interviewed 97 airmen from various components, ranks and Air Force Specialty Codes, in an effort to obtain an objective understanding of the current state of integration. This assessment focused on three elements:  cost and resources, partnerships and culture, and planning. The team routinely examines these areas in an effort to better a unit's assimilation, and ultimately, its mission execution.

Further, the assessments provide unbiased quantitative and qualitative data geared toward actionable findings. They identify best practices and lessons learned, which ultimately drives decision-making for leaders at all levels. 

Col. James Mattey, commander of the 513 ACG stated, “The Air Force consists of four components.  The Regular AF, Reserve, Guard and AF Auxiliary, and today's resource constraints require us to leverage experience and talent in all components. This TFA was long overdue, and the 552 ACW and 513 ACG are now well-positioned to implement recommendations and suggestions to improve our effectiveness and teamwork.”

Mattey went on to say, “Our goal is to strengthen the airborne command and control enterprise, to include operations, maintenance, and support entities for the long haul. Despite the challenges of managing civilian careers, and military requirements, the reservists of the 513 ACG continue to provide agile combat ready forces, fortified by decades of experience. We have been valued mission partners for 26 years and look forward to the future.”

The HAF/DSI assessment team concluded the visit with an onsite out brief, with much more to follow. According to Maj. Teri Boivin, Branch Chief of the AF/DSI Assessments Division, “Afterwards we provide an in-depth out brief that combines qualitative analysis from focus group data results, with rigorous examination of quantitative data from various sources of record. We also provide an executive summary with key observations and recommended actions. Both products are disseminated to the appropriate commanders and leaders, TFI Shops, A5/8s, GOs, and Total Force counterparts.”

Of the assessment, Col. Keven Coyle, commander of the 552nd Air Control Wing stated, “Our AF Reserve partners bring immense experience to our ranks and are essential to our success. The TFA confirmed this on the operations side of the house but we have some work to do on the maintenance side to build more connective tissue amid the short stints where our maintainers interact with each other. We are stronger together, and we are very excited for our future partnership as we shepherd in a new weapons system in the coming years!"