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News > AMC, 18th Air Force to refine warfighting construct
AMC reorganization
The new AMC warfighting construct will take effect April 1.
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AMC, 18th Air Force to refine warfighting construct

Posted 3/24/2006   Updated 3/30/2006 Email story   Print story


by 1st Lt. Katherine Kebisek
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

3/24/2006 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- In October 2003, Air Mobility Command made history when it reactivated the 18th Air Force and became the first major command to establish a warfighting headquarters. On April 1, AMC will take the next step in aligning itself with Headquarters Air Force when the command refines its warfighting construct. 

AMC’s reactivation of the 18th Air Force in 2003, along with conversion of its directorates into an “A Staff,” was the first major organizational change in the Air Force structure in more than a decade. The goal of the reorganization was to go back to the traditional warfighting role of a numbered Air Force, while giving a cleaner reporting chain to enhance the efficiency of the command. 

On Jan. 1 of this year, Headquarters Air Force adopted an organizational structure very similar to the Army’s “G-Staff,” the Navy’s “N-Staff,” and the joint “J-Staff” – a structure similar to the one AMC adopted years earlier. Since AMC is already operating under the A-Staff structure, only minor organizational adjustments are needed. 

“This is a continuing evolution and refinement of what we started in the early 1990s,” said Col. Gregg Clark, chief of the AMC Manpower and Organization division. “October of 2003 was a significant step in the evolution as we implemented our initial warfighting headquarters construct … now we’re making some further refinements to better align ourselves with the Air Force direction and its vision.” 

To better align itself with Headquarters AF, Headquarters AMC will make several visible changes. First, Manpower and Organization, currently A51, will become a part of the new Manpower and Personnel Directorate, or A1 - an integration that has been done at both the Air Staff and the wing level. 

“This (integration) will be the biggest moving piece of (the reorganization) from a headquarters standpoint,” said Colonel Clark. 

Second, AMC’s Studies and Analysis division, A59, will become a new directorate called Analysis, Assessments and Lessons Learned, or A9. 

The new directorate will be responsible for programmatic analysis, operational assessments, analysis support of wargames and exercises, air mobility lessons learned, and the focal point for modeling and simulation integration within the command. AMC/A9’s three primary customers will be the management headquarters staff (HQ AMC), the warfighting headquarters staff (18th Air Force), and the Joint Distribution Planning and Analysis Center at US Transportation Command. 

“We’re very excited about standing up this capability and serving a multitude of customers,” said Dave Merrill, currently chief of AMC Studies and Analysis. On April, 1 Mr. Merrill will become the director of the new A9 directorate. “We’ll be assigned to AMC and continue to work for the AMC commander, but we’ll also support the warfighting need of the combatant commander through US TRANSCOM and through the warfighting headquarters,” said Mr. Merrill. 

Third, the current AMC Comptroller, A8, will be transformed into a special staff element called Financial Management. Other divisions currently within A5 will merge to become A5A8, AMC Strategic Plans, Requirements and Programs. 

Finally, 18th Air Force, AMC’s warfighting headquarters which will also be known as AFTRANS, will have a formal connection to the AMC A Staff. On April 1, each directorate’s deputy will be “dual-hatted” – they will be the deputy directors to their AMC directorates and also their directorate’s member of the 18th Air Force Air Force Forces staff. 

“On April 1 we are going to formalize the efficiencies and synergies that we developed beginning in 2003,” said Bruce Brantly, AMC manpower and organization management analyst. 

“Even though we’ve been in this (warfighting construct) since 2003, we’ve never formalized the connection between 18th Air Force and the Headquarters AMC staff,” said Colonel Clark. “The 18th Air Force could always come over to the staff and ask us to do something, but there was no formal connection. Dual-hatting our deputies as that formal connection is just another evolutionary step in refining our construct.” There are other realignments involved in the reorganization, but they are “minor moving parts,” said Colonel Clark. 

The ultimate goal of the restructuring and realignment is to improve communication throughout the Air Force. With the Air Staff, MAJCOM and warfighting headquarters all structured the same, “even if you’re new to a command, you know who to call because it’s the same everywhere,” said Colonel Clark.

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