MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
Editor’s note: “We are The 908th” is a 16 part series, running biweekly, detailing the workings of the various units in the 908th Airlift Wing. This is part 12, giving insight on the 908th Force Support Squadron.
The 908th Force Support Squadron is the key support unit for the 908th Airlift Wing. The 908th FSS provides support to every other member of the wing, which in turn allows those members to focus on their jobs and accomplish the mission.
Each section of the 908th FSS plays a key role in the support of the wing to ensure the Airmen and their families are taken care of and are combat capable and ready to deploy.
Commanded by Lt. Col. Mark Morris, the squadron’s mission is to, “train, sustain and support combat ready forces.” Their vision is to have, “professional citizen Airmen serving and supporting today, tomorrow, always.”
To reach that mission and vision, the unit has three priorities: readiness – combat capable Airmen who understand how their job connects with the bigger mission of the Air Force to Fly, Fight, and Win. Customer support – provide exceptional customer service to the 908th Airlift Wing, as well as Maxwell Air Force Base members and retirees. Developing their Airmen – they want to have technically proficient Airmen connected with the mission, who know when to follow and when to lead. Innovative Airmen who can create solutions to fight today’s war and adapt to the various possible landscapes of tomorrow’s war.
In order to accomplish those priorities, the squadron takes its more than 80 members, across 12 different Air Force Specialty Codes, 20 of which are full-timers with the remaining being traditional reservists, and divides them into nearly 20 different sections including the personnel systems management section, the career development section, the customer support section, the individual personnel readiness section, the force management section, the information technology project management section, the technology support section, the records management section, the equipment management section, food service section, the lodging section, the fitness and recreation section, the wing training section, the formal schools section, the education services section, the airman and family readiness section, the manpower section and the civilian personnel liaison section.
“The personnel systems management section plans and provides operational guidance pertaining to the military personnel database, virtual personnel center, case management system and personnel records display application,” explained Morris. “In addition, PSM manages our personnel data and creates reports that can be utilized by leadership to track and maintain accurate personnel records.”
“The career development section is in charge of assignments, military separations, as well as, tracks and monitors personnel overages, position moves and duty status updates,” said Morris.
“The customer support section is responsible for verification/authorization of ID cards/enrollment of family members in DEERS,” explained Morris. “In-processes’ all incoming Airmen to the 908th AW with monthly newcomer briefings and personnel actions. In addition, the customer support section overseas casualty notifications and ensures members’ virtual record of emergency data is up to date and service members’ Group Life Insurance coverage is current and accurate.”
“The individual personnel readiness section prepares orders and processes Airmen scheduled to support various deployments, contingencies and exercises across world-wide areas of operations,” said Morris.
“The force management section oversees the wing wide evaluations, promotions and decorations program,” said Morris.
“The IT project management section is in charge of wing wide information technology projects and provides network and information security,” explained Morris.
“The tech support section installs software applications on customer’s computers and fixes hardware related programs, as well as conducts computer reimaging,” said Morris. “They also perform client-level voice network functions, troubleshoot voice network assets and issue personal wireless devices.”
“The records management section is the source of information for all knowledge management functions,” explained Morris. “They manage all wing publications and forms development, design, control, storage, lifecycle, and ensures dissemination.”
“The equipment management section oversees the wing wide tech equipment accountability program,” said Morris. “They distribute new IT assets and ensure old equipment is turned in and properly disposed.”
“The food service section provides a high quality, cost efficient and demand driven food service program that emphasizes healthiness and safety,” said Morris.
“The lodging section ensures quality of life standards are met with lodging facilities; serving military personnel traveling on official & space-available status,” explained Morris. “They manage wing wide UTA lodging reservations and a $1.2 million dollar lodging budget. They coordinate with more than 25 contract hotels to ensure more than 500 Airmen have a room.”
“The fitness and recreation section administers fit to fight testing wing wide; maintains scorecards, ensures all military & civilians adhere to AF fitness policy and maintain fitness standards,” said Morris. “They conduct fitness training for 1200 Airmen and host fitness assessments at every UTA.”
“The wing training section conducts staff assisted visits on unit training programs, oversees and maintains quality control of skill level upgrades,” explained Morris.
“The formal schools section evaluates formal schools, professional military education completions and skill level upgrades and provide degree completion counseling,” said Morris. “They ensure Airmen new to the Air Force or a career field are sent to the appropriate school and receive the hands-on education through the seasoning training program.”
“The education services section manages 908th Airlift Wing’s GI Bill/kicker program, AFRC Tuition Assistance, Community College of the Air Force, and other educational programs,” explained Morris.
“The Airman and Family Readiness section prepares our airmen and families every day through innovative outreach and top-notch service,” said Morris. “They brief & assist military members, civilians and families during disasters, and provides resources to help Airmen maintain resiliency. They also ensure that our Airmen’s child care needs and home life are taken care of so they can focus on the mission.”
“The manpower section monitors the unit manning document for the wing and apprises commanders of any changes that may affect their ability to accomplish the mission,” explained Morris. “They also coordinate with higher headquarters to affect changes to the manning document if the manning resources provided need to be adjusted to better accomplish the mission.”
“The civilian personnel liaison section provides support to supervisors and commanders for effective civilian staffing and access to civilian benefits,” said Morris. “The civilian personnel liaison actions requests for Air Reserve Technicians and traditional appropriated fund federal civilian employees in the 908th Airlift Wing.”
That’s all for the 908th Force Support Squadron. Check back in a couple of weeks to see what unit will be featured next in “We are The 908th.”