By Marvin Krause, 43rd Airlift Group public affairs
/ Published July 10, 2015
POPE ARMY AIRFIELD, N.C. -- Airmen from the 43rd Airlift Group activated and assigned command to two new squadrons, while inactivating three squadrons and redesignating one squadron, during several formal ceremonies held here on July 1.
The 43rd Air Mobility Squadron and the 43rd Air Base Squadron unfurled their new unit guidons combining Airmen and functions from multiple units into new squadrons. The air mobility squadron combined Airmen from the inactivated 3rd Aerial Port Squadron--the oldest active-duty aerial port squadron in the U.S. Air Force--and the 43rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. The air base squadron combined Airmen from the inactivated 43rd Logistics Readiness Squadron with the redesignated 43rd Force Support Squadron.
The reorganization of the group's squadrons was driven by U.S. Air Force-wide FY15 manning reductions and will increase the group's mission focus, efficiency and synergy. The group is scheduled to be redesignated as the 43rd Air Mobility Operations Group on October 1. This new construct will provide unity of command and effort for the group's diverse operations and support functions, increasing efficiencies despite a 27 percent reduction in personnel.
During the ceremonies, Col. Kenneth Moss, commander of the 43rd Airlift Group, highlighted the histories and accomplishments of each unit, noting that all of them have been activated, inactivated and moved numerous times throughout their history.
"We talked about the past, we talked about the present, now, let's talk about the future," said Moss during the 43rd ABS redesignation ceremony.
"We are going to talk about the future and the new leader of the 43rd ABS that's going to take us there, Lt. Col. Kimberly Wallace. She is well qualified to address the many challenges we have here at Pope. Today, she joins a larger family, the Gryphon family. She is the perfect leader to take this organization forward," Moss said.
Wallace assumed command of the 43rd ABS from Lt. Col. Brian Ballew during a change of command ceremony after the inactivation of the 43rd LRS and the redesignation of the 43rd FSS to the 43rd ABS.
"To the men and women of the 43rd Air Base Squadron, it is great to finally be here and I'm very excited to join a stellar team," Wallace said as she addressed Airmen of the new air base squadron. "Today, we move forward together, strong, as one organization. Today, we place our names in the Air Force history books. I look forward to meeting and working with each and every one of you."
Prior to this assignment, Wallace was the deputy director for the 61st Force Support Squadron, Space and Missiles Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, from October 2013. Wallace received her commission as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Officer Training School in 2000. She has previously held assignments at the squadron, wing, major command and Air Force levels, and has served as a manpower officer, military equal opportunity chief, executive officer and personnel programs branch chief. She deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Qatar serving as the deputy director of Air Force Forces A1 and to Afghanistan serving as the chief of NATO Training Mission/Combined Security Transition Command, Joint Manning Requirements.
During a separate ceremony for the activation of the 43rd AMS, Moss highlighted change and the combining of Airmen and functions to form the new air mobility squadron.
"The theme for today has been two-fold--it's change and constant," said Moss. "The fact is we're all Airmen--and have been since 1947--committed to one mission, together. We've organized by task and we've organized by community, and we've called these organizations squadrons. They've worked, they've worked really well. So why change? In change, there's significant opportunity. If we did everything the same way we used to do, we could not remain the world's premier Air Force. So today, we get an opportunity to erase some of the seemingly arbitrary lines we've drawn around our Airmen--lines that have helped us create unique identities, but which have also created some barriers to working together. I'm going to drop those lines and we're going to focus on the task. We're going to create an air mobility squadron and combine two of the proudest Air Force Specialty Codes there are, maintenance and aerial porters, put them together and let them conquer the world as brothers in arms. They're united under one directorate to begin with, so I look forward to uniting them in one mobility squadron."
Lt. Col. David Morgan assumed command of the 43rd AMS after the inactivation of the 43rd AMXS and 3rd APS.
"It's an honor to be standing here today in front of men and women of the newest air mobility squadron in the world's greatest Air Force," Morgan said as he addressed Airmen of the new air mobility squadron. "Legacy is important. Today is the first day in the new heritage. Each of us gets a once in a career opportunity at this point. It's an honor to be here to do it--to take command of this unit, but I ask you to think ahead. To think of those following in our footsteps as we hit the ramp in the coming weeks and months doing what you do best. Thank you for the support and teamwork over the past two years and I look forward to forging this team and ensuring we are ready to answer the call," he said.
Prior to this assignment, Morgan was the commander of the 43rd Operations Support Squadron from July 2014. Morgan is a 1997 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has served in a variety of operational assignments and on the Joint Staff. Morgan is a command pilot with more than 3,300 flying hours in the KC-135 Stratotanker and the C-130 Hercules aircraft.
The 43rd AG's 1,200 active-duty Airmen and civilians provide contingency outload, en route support and mobility operations for Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg's XVIII Airborne Corps and the 82nd Airborne Division. This partnership with the Army provides the nation a unique Joint forcible entry capability through rapid global airborne and air assault operations within hours of notification. Missions can range from humanitarian assistance to providing combat capability to the combatant commanders.
The men and women of the 43rd AG carry out their critical mission to, "Put the Air in Airborne," by supporting over 1,000 Joint training missions annually, ensuring Air Mobility Command and Reserve component partners fulfilled 100 percent of the Joint training requirements on Fort Bragg while improving strategic continuity for Joint Operational Access Exercises.