Offutt holds OSS Symposium

  • Published
  • By Chad Watkins

The 55th Wing and the 55th Operations Support Squadron hosted the 3rd annual Operations Support Squadron Symposium April 2 – 5 in the Dougherty Conference Center.

More than 200 Airmen and civilians from 71 different units attended the conference both in person and remotely.

The Symposium allowed OSS commanders and senior enlisted leaders the chance to interact with each other during ten one-hour-long seminars designed to provide new leadership teams with knowledge of the diverse mission capabilities of OSSs and insight into the latest challenges and changes affecting the mission as a whole.

“This is a grassroots initiative that pulls together multiple career fields to share knowledge and target what our Air Force Senior Leaders are asking for: faster ‘re-optimization’ to project power,” stated Lt. Col. Lin Haack, 55 OSS commander. “Regardless of which force model the Air Force uses, the service will always rely on its airfields and support entities to enable airpower. As OSS commanders, we share problem sets that span multiple major commands and can provide focused insight to drive service-wide results.”

Thirty Headquarters Air Force and Major Command functional managers from squadrons across Air Combat Command, Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Material Command, Air Mobility Command, United States Air Forces in Europe, Air Force Global Strike Command, Pacific Air Forces, as well as their counterpoints in the U.S. Space Force attended the event, brining unique knowledge of the 17 different career fields that comprise the OSS.

“This symposium gives us the opportunity to discuss the Secretary of the Air Force's warning that ’we are out of time‘ and how we must act now to become more optimized forces,” said Maj. Adam Scarborough, 55 OSS assistant director of operations. “This week, leaders and experienced operators came together to share lessons learned and perspectives on the challenges of developing our teams to have the skills needed for a potential future conflict. We focused on best practices for developing flexibility, maintaining resiliency, and implementing rigorous training for conducting operations under less-than-ideal circumstances.”

Four major working groups were convened to address challenges across different OSSs, developing solutions to be implemented at the unit level or with advocacy from higher headquarters. Progress checks will be conducted quarterly by OSS commanders and the major command functionals.

“It’s a great opportunity for OSS leadership teams to discuss enterprise-wide opportunity issues and share unique challenges across the enterprise,” said Lt. Col. Edwin Pratt, 36 OSS commander, Anderson AFB, Guam. “Especially in the challenges we see across the enterprise as they relate to deterring China.”

Next year’s OSS Symposium will be held at Scott AFB.