Support: Yet Another Reorganization, And Why

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December 21, 2007: Once or twice a decade, the U.S. Air Force reorganizes its aircraft maintenance troops, usually in response to new technology, new operational requirements, or just the whim of the brass. This time around, the aircraft maintainers are being transferred from separate maintenance squadrons, to the aircraft squadrons they support. The old organization was implemented in the early 1990s, to take advantage of the fact with separate units for maintainers (who are mainly enlisted) and aircraft (whose crews are mainly officers) the squadrons would be easier to manage. That worked, up to a point. The new aircraft squadrons had only about 100 people (and 24 warplanes), most of them officers, and the squadron commander concentrate on his pilots and their flying skills, while the commander of the maintenance squadron can just deal with his maintainers and their ability to keep the aircraft in the air. Now, fighter and rescue aircraft squadrons will have their maintainers back, meaning a fighter squadron commander will suddenly have 300 personnel, most of them enlisted maintainers. But most fighter squadron commanders prefer it that way, because for the last six years, most of these squadrons have been spending a lot of time overseas. In those situations, the maintainers are "attached" to the fighter squadron for the overseas tour, and it made sense to make that the permanent organization.

There will still be maintenance squadrons, because the bomber, tanker and transport squadrons will still use them (although that may change for the bomber squadrons.)

 


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