55th Wing’s A-Staff in final planning stages

  • Published
  • By 55th Wing Public Affairs

The 55th Wing is closing in on its final planning stages for its A-Staff stand-up with Initial Operational Capability scheduled for Oct. 1, 2022.

As part of its overall Combat Air Forces transformation, Air Combat Command directed all its wings to stand up an A-Staff in February 2022.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with how we’ve progressed on this over the past six months,” said Col. Kristen Thompson, 55th Wing commander. “Our A-Staff is going to be absolutely crucial as we move into a new era as a Lead Wing where we’ll flex our Agile Combat Employment capabilities and train Multi-Capable Airmen for the future fight.”

There are six required directorates within a standard A-Staff. Their goal is to help the commander with rapid decision making, maximize responsiveness, streamline the administrative process, and ease joint integration within their areas of expertise.

As such, the 55th Wing’s A-Staff transition team worked to establish each directorate, to include a hybrid A5/10 due to the wing’s support to nuclear command and control operations.

A1 Manpower, Personnel & Services

• Serves as an advisor for organizational actions, deployed manpower requirements, sustainment support, personnel policy and procedures. The A1 aids in the establishment and documentation of manning levels and organizational structures for forces assigned and attached to the wing commander.

A2 Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance

• Provides guidance on ISR planning, collection, analysis and exploitation to anticipate adversary actions in the operational environment. The A2 is responsible for wing-wide intelligence to provide the best decision-quality intelligence to our leaders and operators ensuring the wing is ready for crisis.

A3 – Operations

• Guides the wing commander in direction and control of wing operational forces. The A3 ensures wing units, both attached and permanently assigned, can perform wing missions to achieve effects as tasked by the commander and higher headquarters. This includes wing execution of deliberate and crisis action planning in concert with other wing staff and wing operation center personnel, monitoring unit deployments and bed down locations, and ensuring combat readiness.

A4 – Logistics

• Serves to synchronize logistics, sustainment, force protection, and combat support planning and processes across the wing, in close coordination with functional group and squadron commanders. The A4 coordinates wing ACE capabilities development and participates in all planning activities to align current and future logistics, engineering, force protection, weapon system maintenance and operational contract support capabilities with the wing’s tactical and operational objectives.

A5/10 – Plans & Requirements

• Provides guidance for development of contingency and steady-state campaign plans and the wing’s support to theater engagement activities. Additionally, the A5/10 manages the wing’s operational security and readiness programs, directs the Crisis Action Team, serves as the integrator for all RC/WC/TC-135 requirements, is the focal point for the nuclear enterprise through the Nuclear Executive Manager, and serves as the custodian for all wing plans.

A6 – Cyberspace Operations

• Manages cyber forces and capabilities, develops plans and guidance, and is responsible for deploying, operating and maintaining the critical command and control networks and architecture for Lead Wing.  The A6 also conducts and coordinates cyber defense and mission assurance for the Lead Wing and its entities, while integrating with the A3’s Information Warfare Working Group to employ effects within the information environment.

Thompson said the planning hasn’t been easy, but the wing responded to ACC’s directive with its typical determined attitude.

“As always, the Fightin’ Fifty-Fifth has answered the call and set the example for others to follow,” Thompson said. “With the A-Staff fully functional and stood up, we’ll be able to rapidly generate and deploy combat power in defense of our nation.”