595th Command and Control Group, NAOC Change Commands

  • Published
  • By Drew Nystrom
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

Both the 595th Command and Control Group and National Airborne Operations Center held their change of command ceremonies July 27, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska as a single commander assumed responsibility for both organizations.

U.S. Air Force Col. Jeremiah Baldwin assumed command from outgoing 595th C2G commander U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Billings and outgoing NAOC commander U.S. Navy Capt. Dennis Crews in a ceremony officiated by U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Thomas Bussiere, Eighth Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander.

The 595th C2G, through its four squadrons – the 1st Airborne Command Control Squadron, the 595th Strategic Communications Squadron, the 595th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron – falls under the direction of Air Force Global Strike Command and is responsible for the Air Force Nuclear Command and Control Communications mission.

The NAOC operations teams, made-up of joint personnel including Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines from a variety of specialties serving aboard the E-4B aircraft, provide a highly-survivable, command, control and communications center to direct U.S. forces, execute emergency war orders and coordinate actions by civil authorities in case of national emergency.

Together, they form an integral component of deterring America’s adversaries and potential adversaries while assuring Allies and partners of our commitments to them.

“The mission these units perform is as important today as it was in 1969,” Bussiere said. “Unifying the 595th C2G and NAOC under a single commander in this historic ceremony is an evolution in the organizational make-up which will only serve to make the mission more effective.”

The 595th C2G was activated Oct. 6, 2016 with the realignment of the 1st ACCS, and the 625th STOS while the 595th AMXS and 595th SCS, were newly-created.

Just as the 2016 merger allowed the group, whose squadrons all have similar missions, to refocus and advocate better for national and nuclear security, these changes of command comes with their own efficiency gains.

While the E-4B, a militarized version of the Boeing 747-200, joined the aforementioned units in consolidating under the 595th C2G in 2016, the NAOC alert teams which fly on it did not. Those operations teams continued to fall under the direct authority of U.S. Strategic Command until today.  

According to Lt. Col. Scott McCandless, 595th C2G deputy commander, the goal is a simple, but important one.

 “The intent is to streamline unity of command and remove any potential barriers to organizational efficiency,” McCandless said. “Instead of having a separate commander for the Air Force-specific aspect of the mission and a separate commander for the joint mission, a single commander is essential to best ensure common focus and mutually-supporting actions.”

This change will, according to McCandless, have little to no effect on the day-to-day operations and activities for most of the 595th C2G and NAOC joint personnel; nor add or detract any personnel.

“While this is an important change, it should be a pretty seamless transition to most of the people under Colonel Baldwin’s command,” McCandless said.

Baldwin, who received his commission in 1995 through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, is a senior pilot with more than 2,800 flying hours in the T-37 Tweet, T-1 Jayhawk, T-38 Talon, B-52H Stratofortress, and E-4B.