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12 AF welcomes back 552 ACW

Twelfth Air Force shield

Twelfth Air Force shield

TINKER AFB, Okla. -- As of Oct. 1, 2009, the 552nd Air Control Wing will receive administrative support from a different numbered Air Force. 12th Air Force, headquartered at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., will accept the responsibility of the wing from 8th Air Force, Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

This is not the first time the 552 ACW has been supported by 12 AF. The wing was actually a part of 12 AF prior to joining 8 AF in 2002. Now, seven years later, 12 AF welcomes back the Airmen of "America's Wing."

The transition was prompted because 8 AF left Air Combat Command to be a part of the Air Force's newest Major Command, Global Strike Command. This new MAJCOM will include nuclear-capable bombers and ICBMs. The wings under 8 AF that do not have these assets will remain in ACC and move to a new NAF, explained Col. Pat Hoffman, commander, 552nd Air Control Wing.

Since the 552 ACW is a Command and Control wing, it could not remain in 8 AF and instead made the transition to 12 AF, along with the 55th Wing, Offutt AFB, Neb. and the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale AFB, Calif., two ISR wings. The 116th Air Control Wing, Robins AFB, Ga., also moved out of 8 AF, but went to 9 AF in order to balance out the C2 and ISR wings between 12 AF and 9 AF, said Colonel Hoffman.

As far as the 552 ACW is concerned, they don't plan to see any major changes. "We may see some staff process changes, as our wing staff will now coordinate with the 12 AF HQ staff instead of the 8 AF staff, but we're looking forward to working with the 12 AF team," said Colonel Hoffman.

As for day-to-day mission operations, the Airmen running the E-3s and Control and Reporting Centers won't miss a beat.

"Operationally, the move from 8 AF to 12 AF will be mostly transparent to the wing," said Colonel Hoffman. "Whatever NAF we belong to, we'll still operate in the same outstanding manner, deploy with the same warfighter focus, and still be tasked by JFCOM and ACC to meet Combatant Commander requirements around the world!"