Air Force halts wing reorganization

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Air Force leaders halted plans to perform a global wing restructure which was designed to realign fighter, bomber and rescue airlift maintenance units into flying squadrons.

Maintenance and flying squadrons will remain separate and will continue doing business “as they have for the past four or five years,” said Lt. Gen. Kevin Sullivan, deputy chief of staff for logistics, installations and mission support here at the Pentagon.

“I believe there are two main reasons for this decision,” he said. “First, there was senior leader consensus that our maintenance personnel will be better able to maintain and hone their core competencies if they are led by maintenance professionals up through the group level. Second, there was also consensus that it’s important to reduce the amount of turmoil and change within the Air Force at this time. Not implementing the global wing restructure will help provide that stability we’re looking for”

Units across the Air Force were directed last December to implement the merge of maintenance and operations between July 1 and Nov. 30. However, acting Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley directed a delay to have an opportunity to discuss the appropriateness and timeliness of these changes with Air Force leaders. At an Aug. 27 summit, it was a major topic of discussion.

“The original idea driving the wing restructure was to improve knowledge, understanding and interoperability between ops and maintenance,” said General Sullivan, “and while the merge will no longer happen, we still plan to offer the training we developed to facilitate implementation of the new wing structure as a continuing means to improve the ops-maintenance interface. We’re also looking at other ways to strengthen that ops – maintenance bond within the existing wing structure.”

The general said he appreciates the people who worked so hard to gear up for the wing restructuring.

“We started from a standing start in December of 07, and everything was ready to go by July of 08” he said. “I don’t think there’s ever been a major reorganization so fully planned and coordinated any faster. In addition, I believe all the planning, all the discussions and debate that occurred during that process were good for our Air Force. It forced us to look at areas to improve, how to build better teamwork and we can leverage what we learned in the existing organizational framework as well.”

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