Defining Lead Wing’s A-Staff

The 355th Wing, one of five Air Combat Command Lead Wings, is in the process of developing a new method of deploying a proactive force able to operate in a contested environment with joint and coalition partners. However, the question frequently posed is how does an ‘A-Staff’ fit into the Lead Wing concept and what part they play.

The 505th Command and Control Wing from Hurlburt Field, Florida, conducted a two-day C2 virtual and in-person training to help the 355th Wing’s A-Staff personnel better understand and execute their positions in the Lead Wing.

“We’re still in the building phases and working as a team to plan processes in preparation for as many contingencies or exercise scenarios we may be faced with downrange,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Jacob Ricks, 355th Wing A-Staff deputy chief of staff. “This will prepare our Lead Wing A-Staff to potentially deploy and employ command and control force elements in theater.”

A Lead Wing is made up of an expeditionary C2 headquarters, mission generation force elements and an airbase squadron. The A-Staff falls under the C2 force element portion of this concept, operating with higher headquarters, joint and coalition partners in combat.

“The A-Staff will ultimately deploy as a self-sufficient command and control force in support of combat operations when necessary,” said Maj. Richard Nezat, 355th Wing A-Staff deputy A-3. “As a separate or additive operating command, they will be directly responsible for supporting and communicating higher headquarters’ objectives.”

The A-Staff gives the U.S. Air Force the capability to plug directly into other units, branches or coalitions partners with the same operative communication elements, which further equips the U.S. military with a co-operative force that can focus entirely on the mission at hand.

This up-and-coming development of cultivating a Lead Wing A-Staff is preparing the 355th Wing for future warfare procedures and leading the Air Force in further executing combat operations more efficiently than ever before.

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