The 355th Wing held a combined 655th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Deactivation, and 79th and 55th Rescue Generation Squadron Activation Ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Nov. 22, 2021.
During the ceremony, Maj. Andrew Radloff relinquished command of the 655th AMXS. To signify the squadron’s deactivation, Radloff, along with Col. Marc Walker, 355th Maintenance Group commander, cased the squadron’s guidon.
“Although we’re closing one chapter by deactivating the 655th AMXS, we’re opening two new chapters with the 79th RGS, who supports our HC-130J Combat King IIs, and the 55th RGS, who supports our HH-60G Pavehawks,” said Walker.
With this significant change, DM redefined, reorganized and shifted the 655th AMXS structure for the future by transitioning into rescue generation squadrons. This change follows Air Combat Command’s Combat Oriented Maintenance Organization model to enhance agility and to be better postured for dynamic force employment.
After relinquishing command of the 655th AMXS, Radloff received the guidon for the 79th RGS signifying his assumption of the new squadron.
“I’m excited to see where we go with the change you see here today,” said Radloff. “While the COMO method is important for providing mission ready assets, as a commander, I find this to be the best change for Airmen by giving them more access to leadership, who can connect them with helpful resources that take care of them both on a personal and professional level.”
Following the 79th RGS assumption, Walker passed the 55th RGS guidon to U.S. Air Force Maj. Bryan Saam, signifying his assumption of the new squadron.
“I am extremely honored and humbled to be offered this opportunity to serve with you in our new squadron,” said Saam. “You have an incredible mission-focused reputation that I am proud to be a part of and a tight-knit community of professionals that I feel lucky to be brought into. I look forward to building the 55th RGS identity with you, and I am thrilled to finally be on your team in this rescue family. I cannot wait to see what we’ll accomplish together.”
By pairing rescue squadrons with dedicated generation squadrons, the relationship between maintenance and operations will promote the development of the organizations working alongside towards similar objectives, as well as provide a better view of readiness.
This transition enables the U.S. Air Force to remain strategically predictable while being operationally unpredictable by supporting the Agile Combat Employment concept. It increases adaptability to expedite response times to protect and defend U.S., allied and partner forces and interests.
“This is the first major restructure since 2003 in organizational units,” said Walker. “This new construct places more leadership emphasis within the maintenance enterprise at the tactical level of execution. It places an experienced commander, a chief of staff whose sole purpose is to create, resource and make more proficient maintainers, to sustain peak readiness.”
Agility, deterrence and resiliency are essential to defense and operational capabilities in austere and contested environments, and the 355th Wing and rescue squadrons are continuously evolving DM’s Dynamic Wing.
This will preserve synchronization between maintenance and rescue squadrons, and provide a broader effort to better organize, train and equip rescue forces for the future fight.