319th RW deploys first Airmen under AFFORGEN model

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Anthony Nunez-Pellicer
  • 319th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 319th Reconnaissance Wing preparing to deploy to several locations in support of U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Africa Command as part of the 24.1 cycle, attended a pre-deployment briefing Sept. 27 at Grand Forks Air Force Base. 
The deployment is part of the newly implemented Air Force Force Generation model which aims to reconstitute manpower, aircraft and equipment into force elements that train, deploy and recover as cohesive units throughout each phase of the 24-month cycle. 
The legacy deployment model crowd-sourced individual Airmen and custom packages for deployment requirements, where their first interactions were in-theater. AFFORGEN provides Airmen the opportunity to train together prior to deploying, foster team and unit cohesion before arriving to the fight and shift Airmen’s focus from providing capabilities to providing functionality. 
“What matters when you hit the ground of wherever it is you’ll be ending up, is that you’ll be looking out for the people to your left and your right,” said Col. Timothy Monroe, 319th RW commander. “You are not alone. There are several thousand other Airmen around the world who will be doing the same thing.” 
The four phases of AFFORGEN are: reset, prepare, ready and available to commit. The first phase, reset, gives Airmen time to connect with family and friends, take post-deployment leave and reintegrate and reconstitute into their units and day-to-day way of life. 
The second phase, prepare, allows squadrons to enhance unit proficiency with advanced and full-spectrum training and build high-end readiness through multi-unit tactics and training events. During prepare, Airmen will also develop cross-functional skills according to the Multi-Capable Airman training framework. 
MCA training is critical to the success of the AFFORGEN model and for agile combat employment operations which reduce the number of Airmen required for power projection and reduce the number of personnel in harm’s way. 
Phase three, ready, is when Airmen will achieve their peak levels of readiness for the high-end fight. Force elements and demand force teams will participate in joint and local exercises, and bases hosting lead wings will undergo a large force exercise referred to as a certification event. 
The fourth phase, available to commit, identifies Airmen as a deployable to support rotational deployments, ready response force requirements or Secretary of Defense taskings. 
“Focus on the mission, on your training and on everything you’ve done to prepare you for this moment,” said Chief Master Sgt. Carl Vogel, 319th RW command chief. “Your comrades that are staying here will hold the fort while you’re gone. Focus on the fight and coming back home safe.” 
The department-wide transition to AFFORGEN provides combatant commanders predictable resources and allows smoother integration into joint force environments. The sustainable force offerings also enable ACE concepts which senior leaders have deemed critical to the demands of future conflicts. 
“When our Airmen get to their deployments, there is a high chance they’ll be asked to do something they have zero training for, and that’s okay,” Monroe said. “What they do have is our trust. Trust in their ability to think critically, think boldly and be decisive.” 
Future and current conflicts require Airmen to operate in uncertain, complex and rapidly-changing environments. AFFORGEN ensures Airmen have familiar faces on their side providing trust, shared awareness and an understanding of their commander’s intent to guide them through congested and contested environments. 
“Our Airmen already have those skills and more,” Monroe said. ‘That’s why they’re part of the world’s greatest Air force.”