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127th Wing transitions to Air Staff structure

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Chelsea FitzPatrick and Tech. Sgt. Andrew Schumann
  • 127th Wing

SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, MI -- Brig. Gen. Rolf E. Mammen, commander of the 127th Wing, announced plans to transition the Wing Headquarters element to the combatant command organizational structure known as Air Staff here, Dec. 4, 2022. He explained the transition will better allow assets to prepare for combat command and control capabilities in a deployed environment, pull together forces and to present combat power for lethality against our peer competitors.

“We are reorganizing as a wing to be able to better present forces against an adversary moving out into the future,” Mammen said.

Modeled after the Joint Chiefs of Staff directorates, the “A” Staff function brings existing command and control functions already within the wing together to better assist the wing leadership with decision-making.

“There they can work together to prepare the wing commander, as well as all our units, for crisis before crisis happens and combat before we go to combat,” said Col. Matthew Robins, 127th Operations Group commander.

The “A” Staff consists of six sections called, directorates, that collaborate closely to achieve faster results in combat scenarios. The directorates are broken down by personnel, intelligence, operations, logistics, strategic plans, and communications functions, respectively. In addition, there are special staff comprised of headquarters element positions, including safety, public affairs, chaplain corps and administrative support functions.

The Wing will get its first chance to demonstrate the “A” Staff construct this summer, when more than 200 members from the 127th Wing will deploy to Europe in support of the German Air Force-led exercise, “Air Defender 23.

“All our efforts exercising agile combat employment scenarios to this point have been recognized by senior leaders in the Air National Guard and we were selected by the Director of the Air National Guard, General Loh, to be the lead wing for Air Defender 23,” Mammen said.

Air Defender 2023 will consist of a two-week exercise based in the European theater. The German air force will exercise its role as a strategic hub, sending out multiple missions every day with a multinational task force. Participants will forward deploy during snap exercises to various locations in eastern and southern Europe and the 127th Wing will be leading the way.

While the transition takes place and Airmen prepare for Air Defender 23, the missions of the 127th Wing will still go on. As in the past two years, multi-capable Airmen from the Wing will continue exercising agile combat employment in Michigan, Wyoming and other areas domestically and abroad. Mammen says the continued ability of Airmen to adapt to the changing needs of the Air Force are critical to accomplishing the mission.

“The Chief of Staff of the Air Force said, ‘accelerate change or lose,’ and this is one of the things that we are doing as the 127th Wing to accelerate change, so we don’t lose,” Mammen said.