Association with active presents possibilities

  • Published
  • By Col Robert H. Shepherd
  • 908th Airlift Wing
"In my final article on our support of Air Force priorities, I'll focus on how we are teaming with the active component (AC) to keep our combat capabilities flexible and relevant.

AF Priority: Modernize our air and space organizations, training and equipment.
USAFR Priority: Broaden Total Force Integration (TFI) opportunities.

908 AW Mission: Provide unrivaled theater airlift and flexible combat support across the spectrum of military operations.

Many of you may not realize it, but the 908th has been identified for a possible associate relationship with the AC. It would likely be an active association, in which the regular Air Force (RegAF) would have a number of aircrew members in our operations group, flying our assigned C-130s.

This association is not imminent and may not happen at all, but it's an exciting possibility.

We have recently seen our integration with the RegAF increase dramatically through the realignment of the Maxwell Command Post. There is now one command post here, which combines our 908th Airmen in the same facility with the controllers from the 42nd Air Base Wing. There are still two different chains of command, but all of the controllers share the duties of supporting all of the Maxwell-Gunter organizations.

This is a real boon for the Airmen from both components; our Reserve members learn about broader responsibilities and the AC controllers build some experience through flight following duties. It also eliminates some duplication of effort.

Finally, the 357th Airlift Squadron should welcome a couple of active duty navigators this summer to help with their ongoing shortfall in that crew position. These aircrew members have been made available as the RegAF converts its C-130 units to fly the J-model, which does not require a navigator. Once again, creative thinking benefits both components.

The Reserve will play an increasingly essential operational role in the years ahead and I know that you are more than ready for the challenge.