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595th CACG focuses on people post realignment

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

The 595th Command and Control Group was activated and aligned under Air Force Global Strike Command and the 8th Air Force in an Oct. 6 ceremony at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Since then, the group has been focusing on developing cohesion and a sense of belonging as a tenant unit of the 55th Wing.

While the 1st Airborne Command Control Squadron, the 595th Strategic Communications Squadron and the 595th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron existed in previous incarnations, the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron was created for the purpose of this group. Because of this, the majority of the squadrons within the 595th already have a sense of identity.

“The team concept and the culture already existed,” said Lt. Col. Douglas Dodge, commander of the 595th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, previously part of the 55th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. “But we have an opportunity now to focus more on our dedicated mission.”

Chief Master Sgt. Margaret Haldie, superintendent of the 595th CACG, has been working since the realignment to serve the needs of the Airmen.

“Hopefully the realignment isn’t changing the day-to-day lives of the enlisted members,” she said. “The mission is going to go on, and the person on the flight line turning a wrench and the person operating the equipment is not affected by it. That’s the whole goal of the transition.”

Dodge said the chance to create a positive environment because of the realignment is an important one.

“Although they already have their own identity here, we have an opportunity to enhance that and take what we didn’t like and leave that behind, and add some things we’re hoping for,” he said.

The real issues may arise as group members try to find their new place within the Air Force as a whole, Haldie said.

“How are promotions going to work now we’re in Global Strike,” she asked. “How are awards going to work now that we’re a tenant unit? That’s where we need to start working.”

Haldie, who attended a senior leadership conference hosted by Global Strike Commander Gen. Robin Rand at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming in September, said she’s interested in providing a similar all-call experience for the enlisted members of the 595th.

“It’s still the Air Force,” she said. “It’s not going to change – there might be some different processes and we might format things differently, but we’re going to continue the Air Force procedures.”

Haldie’s primary goal is to show the 595th members that they belong to a cohesive group.

“One of the unique things about this group is that we’re not a functional group,” she said. “It’s not a communications group, it’s not a maintenance group -- we’re four very different functional units tied together, so incorporating everyone equally is very important. We want to show our people they belong.”

Dodge said that sense of belonging can still extend toward the 55th Wing.

“We’re a tenant unit now, but we still need things like the 55th Logistics Readiness Squadron, 55th Force Support Squadron and the 55th Security Forces Squadron – that’s a key message I carry forward and I know Col. Robert Billings, commander of the 595th CACG, does too. Even though we’re our own stand-alone tenant unit, we still need the 55th Wing and we’re very grateful for how they’ve supported us.”