Col. Stephen Jones, 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander, officiated the historic standup of the wing’s Mission Support Group during an installation command assumption ceremony, July 11, 2019.
At the event, Nellis Air Force Base leadership deactivated the 799th Air Base Group, and Creech leadership activated the 432nd MSG in its place.
The units which fell under the 799th ABG deactivated and the 432nd Security Forces Squadron and 432nd Support Squadron stood up under the 432nd MSG.
Maj. Donald, 432nd WG special projects officer, noted that although Creech is taking steps to become less dependent on Nellis, it is as important as ever for the two bases work together during this time of change.
“Nellis and the 99th ABW have always provided us critical support to do the mission and there’s always going to be a need to have a strong relationship between the 99th and the 432nd Wing,” Donald said. “In other words, Nellis and Creech are neighbors, and that will never change. We need each other to accomplish both of our missions.”
Since their inception, Creech and the 432nd WG have relied on Nellis to provide support functions that enable Airmen to carry out the Remotely Piloted Aircraft mission.
“Standing up a mission support group here at Creech was among the first steps to prepare our Hunters for the wing to take installation command,” Jones explained. “By consolidating certain support functions under the 432nd, we’re not only allowing clearer lines of authority and priority, we’re also ensuring they are better equipped to perform their combat missions every day.”
The 432nd MSG will now be able to support functions such as personnel, civil engineering, and finance to improve quality of life at Creech, while allowing the base to become more efficient.
By having installation command authority, the 432nd WG commander will be responsible for, and make decisions on behalf of, all units and Airmen assigned to Creech as an installation.
“When you talk about the transfer of command authority for an installation, to a new wing, it has to be set up to properly to wield and shoulder the weight of that authority,” Donald said. “The first step everybody recognized right away was if we didn’t have a mission support function inside the wing, we wouldn’t be able to wield the authority of installation command.”
Donald has been responsible for managing special projects such as installation command authority transfer, as well as the MSG standup. Having worked on these projects for almost two years, he understands why having an MSG is so integral to mission success.
“Mission support is what really allows Airmen to be able to handle the operational mission,” Donald explained. “Airmen have to be able to jump in a cockpit and fly an aircraft or do their job. They have to know their family is taken care of, their finances are in order, and they’re medically taken care of. Mission support allows for all of those things so that Airmen can do their job. It’s absolutely critical.”
Many Airmen from the 799th ABG will be realigned to staff the new 432nd MSG, and officially fall under the 432nd WG, which they have supported for years.
“I am very proud to be the first commander of the 432nd Mission Support Group. This is an exciting, historical time for both this wing and the Air Force,” said Col. Brian, 432nd MSG commander. “I have very big shoes to fill, but we will continue on the [799th ABG’s] wins for our wing and the Air Force.”
Having the MSG under the 432nd WG means having a streamlined chain of command and support for those Airmen, and ultimately, it allows the wing to provide immediate resolutions for its warfighters, Donald explained.
Alongside the enduring relationship with their sister base, there are some things Creech can expect to remain the same. Although the MSG will provide dedicated support functions, it will not impact the operations and training within the enterprise.
The approximately 4,200 members assigned to Creech are part of an operational mission that continues to expand. The MSG, and its subordinate squadrons, will not only enable the RPA mission to continue evolving, but ensure the 432nd Wing is contributing to the attainment of the Air Force We Need.
“Ever since our RQ-1 Predators first flew in Bosnia in 1995, this base has supported an unrelenting pace of growth and has remained the epicenter of remotely piloted aviation,” Jones said. “Nellis Air Force Base and the 99th Air Base Wing have been critical component of all our successes, and we will remain closely partnered with them into the future,” Jones continued. “We are excited to now stand up the 432d MSG at Creech and consider it a major milestone in our base history. As our infrastructure and mission continues to grow, the 432d Wing and the 432d MSG will ensure the Hunters remain ready for any adversary.”