55th Wing receives Lead Wing designation

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. William A. O’Brien
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

The 55th Wing is one of five Air Combat Command wings designated as a Lead Wing as Combat Air Forces transition to the Air Force Generation model.

The goal of the Lead Wing is to increase a wing commander’s ability and speed in planning, synchronizing and executing operations in a contested environment.

“We are excited to formally receive the designation as a Lead Wing,” said Col. Kristen Thompson, 55th Wing commander. “This is truly an honor and we are committed to ensuring we can lead effectively in the joint environment.”

The generation of a Lead Wing is an evolutionary, approach to force presentation to address strategic competition as defined in the interim National Defense Strategy. The command and control force element of the lead wing will be organized as an A-Staff in order to be easily plugged into existing Joint command and control structure and provide expeditionary Wing-echelon command and control for subordinate forces in a contested environment.

Lead Wings are made up of an expeditionary command and control headquarters, mission generation force elements, and an airbase squadron.

Mission generation force elements are comprised of the operations and associated maintenance that enable expeditionary capabilities for flying operations, flight line maintenance, Aircrew Flight Equipment, Munitions Operations, Weather, Intelligence and Cyber Mission Assurance for a Lead Wing.

An air base squadron is a Lead Wing’s organic source of agile combat support. When stood up it will simultaneously support wing operating locations capable of conducting airfield operations, base security, logistical readiness and plans, civil engineering, contracting, medical and communications. An air base squadron will also be able to reposition and operate outside of a main operating base or hub.

Under this concept, a lead wing headquarters will command multiple mission generation squadrons which may or may not come from the same air base.

“The Airmen of the Fightin’ Fifty-Fifth will build upon our global footprint to ensure we can adapt and lead in an ever-changing security environment,” said Thompson.