Gen. Mark Kelly, the commander of Air Combat Command, has designated five units as Lead Wings as part of the combat air force’s transition to the service’s new force generation model.
In a Jan. 5, 2022, memo, Kelly identified the following wings to be ready to “rapidly generate combat power as a deployed force:
- 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
- 23d Wing, Moody AFB, Ga.
- 55th Wing, Offutt AFB, Neb.
- 355th Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
- 366th Fighter Wing, Mountain Home AFB, Id.
Naming lead wings builds readiness and sustainability for the Joint Force, and further refines Agile Combat Employment and Multi-Capable Airmen concepts, according to the memo.
While not currently designated as lead wings, Gen. Kelly also identified the following units as “Lead Wings in Extremis,” to provide enabling requirements when additional forces are required for a designated Lead Wing:
- 1st Fighter Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.
- 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB, S.C.
- 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
- 388th Fighter Wing, Hill AFB, Utah
- 633rd Air Base Wing, JBLE, Va.
“This shift take us from a reactive force optimized for counter-insurgency ops over the past twenty years in permissive environments, to wings ready to deploy as high-performing, task-organized combat teams, and operate in a contested environment with joint and coalition partners,” Kelly said.
The command is currently working to standardize the required force elements and organizational structures for lead wing implementation, and also plans for several experiments and exercises in 2022 to validate the success of these changes.