25th IOS joins 55th Wing

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- The 55th Operations Group assumed command of its newest squadron Wednesday, as the 25th Information Operation Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla., was organizationally re-subordinated under the 55th Wing here at Offutt.

The organizational shift will consolidate almost all of the Air Force's airborne cryptologic linguists under a single group. The change will give the Air Force a new, centralized ability to manage the capabilities the linguists bring to the fight, according to Lt. Col. James Harvey, who assumed command of the 25th IOS Thursday.

The 25th IOS will remain at Hurlburt, where its direct support operators and airborne cryptologic linguists will continue flying aboard aircraft operated by the 16th SOW.

"As a former member of the 97th Intelligence Squadron, I see a great synergy in the 25th IOS's move to the 55th Wing," said Lt. Col. Kenneth Abel, who commanded the squadron until Thursday. "The 25th has a unique mission that is integrated into Air Force Special Operations Command's support to the Global War on Terror."

The 25th IOS's re-subordination to the 55th Wing was one of many changes across the Air Force described by the 2005 Quadrennial Defense Review, released earlier this year.
25th IOS Airmen fly aboard each of the 16th SOW's aircraft; the AC-130H Spectre and AC-130U Spooky gunships, the MC-130H Combat Talon II, the C-130E Hercules and MH-53J/M Pave Low helicopters.

The direct support operators and airborne cryptologic linguists assist the special operations mission by providing onboard, real-time threat warning and situational awareness to aircrew and commanders during missions across the entire spectrum of conflict.

According to the 25th's new commander, the shift will require some time for administrative processes to adjust to the new organizational structure, but it won't impact the Airmen's ability to prosecute the war on terror.

"The 25th is making a significant contribution to the Global War on Terror and will continue to do so under the 55th Wing. The re-subordination will have no effect on us at the operator level."