55th Wing A-Staff in final planning phase > Offutt Air Force Base > News

The 55th Wing is approaching its final planning stages for its stand-up A-Staff with initial operational capability scheduled for October 1, 2022.

As part of the overall transformation of its combat air forces, Air Combat Command directed all of its wings to establish an A-staff in February 2022.

“I couldn’t be happier with how we’ve made progress on this over the past six months,” said 55 Wing Commander Col. Kristen Thompson. “Our A-Staff is going to be absolutely crucial as we enter a new era as a lead wing where we will flex our agile combat employment capabilities and train versatile Airmen for future combat.”

There are six directions required within a standard A staff. Their goal is to help the commander make quick decisions, maximize responsiveness, streamline the administrative process, and facilitate joint integration in their areas of expertise.

As such, the 55th Wing A-Staff Transition Team worked to establish each direction, to include an A5/10 Hybrid due to the Wing’s support of nuclear command and control operations.

A1 Labour, personnel and services

• Acts as an advisor for organizational actions, deployed manpower requirements, sustainment support, personnel policy and procedures. The A1 assists in establishing and documenting the manning levels and organizational structures of the forces assigned and reporting to the Wing Commander.

A2 Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance

• Provides advice on the planning, collection, analysis and exploitation of SRI to anticipate adverse actions in the operational environment. The A2 is responsible for wing-wide intelligence to provide the best decision-quality intelligence to our leaders and operators, ensuring the wing is crisis-ready.

A3 – Operations

• Guides the wing commander in the direction and control of wing operational forces. The A3 ensures that wing units, both attached and permanently assigned, can perform wing missions to achieve the effects requested by the commander and higher headquarters. This includes the wing executing deliberate action and crisis planning in concert with other wing personnel and wing operations center personnel, monitoring deployments of units and sleeping places, and ensuring combat readiness.

A4 – Logistics

• Serves to synchronize logistics, sustainment, force protection and combat support planning and processes across the wing, in close coordination with functional group and squadron commanders. The A4 coordinates the development of the wing’s ACE capabilities and participates in all planning activities to align current and future logistics, engineering, force protection, weapon systems maintenance and support capabilities operational contracts with the wing’s tactical and operational objectives.

A5/10 – Plans and requirements

• Provides guidance for the development of contingency and steady state campaign plans and Wing support to theater engagement activities. Additionally, the A5/10 manages the Wing’s operational security and readiness programs, leads the Crisis Action Team, serves as the integrator for all RC/WC/TC-135 requirements, is the focal point of the nuclear business through the nuclear executive director, and serves as the gatekeeper for all wing plans.

A6 – Cyberspace Operations

• Manages cyber forces and capabilities, develops plans and directives, and is responsible for the deployment, operation and maintenance of critical command and control networks and architecture for Lead Wing. The A6 also directs and coordinates cyber defense and mission assurance for the main wing and its entities, while integrating with the A3’s Information Warfare Task Force to employ effects in the information environment.

Thompson said the planning wasn’t easy, but the wing responded to the ACC’s directive with its typical determined attitude.

“As always, the Fightin’ Fifty-Fifth answered the call and set an example for others,” Thompson said. “With the A-staff fully functional and standing, we will be able to rapidly generate and deploy combat power in defense of our nation.”

Louisa R. Loomis