Feb. 26, 2009: Services Squadron redesignated
Five years ago this week the 56th Services Squadron was redesignated the 56th Force Support Squadron. Part of the process was the inactivation of the 56th Mission Support Squadron. The new squadron included the functions, people and equipment of the inactivated unit.
In 2007, the U.S. Air Force began testing the force support concept at several bases. The goal was to streamline processes, maximize customer service and cut costs. Almost all of the flights saw no change other than the squadron designation. Manpower savings were expected in training programs and readiness programs, which merged. Therefore, customers of most services formerly offered by the two units were expected to see no changes.
The 56th SVS was an older unit than the 56th MSS by less than one year. Therefore, it was redesignated as the new squadron. In fact, it was one of the original 56th Fighter Wing squadrons. It and the wing activated on the same day, Aug. 15, 1947, at Selfridge Air Force Base, Mich.
Discontinued on Aug. 1, 1948, the SVS was split between the 56th Food Services Squadron, Fighter Jet and the 56th Base Services Squadron, Fighter Jet. On Jan. 20, 1950, the 56th FSVS FJ was redesignated the 56th Food Services Squadron. On Aug. 9, 1950, the 56th BSVS FJ was disbanded and the 56th FSVS FJ was inactivated on Feb. 6, 1952.
The 56th SVS was activated again April 8, 1967, at Nakhon Phanon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand and inactivated Feb. 28, 1975, only to be reactivated four months later on June 30 at MacDill AFB, Fla. That was the same date the wing moved to MacDill AFB.
The Air Force consolidated the history of the three squadrons into the 56th Services Squadron on Oct. 10, 1984.
On Aug. 15, 1988, the old 56th BSVS FJ, was redesignated as the 56th MSS was activated at MacDill AFB. The 56th SVS was redesignated the 56th Morale, Welfare, Recreation and Services Squadron on Sept. 4, 1992. Both squadrons were inactivated on Jan. 4, 1994, in preparation for the wing’s move.
The 56th MWRSVS reactivated as the 56th SVS April 1, 1994, at Luke AFB. The 56th MSS also reactivated the same day and remained until 2009. Today’s 56th FSS provides myriad services that support the entire base’s population.