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AFSOC implements wing A-staff, breaks down bureaucratic barriers and increases readiness

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Cassandra Saphore
  • Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs

Five wings assigned to the Air Force Special Operations Command implemented the new wing air staff (A-staff) structure on March 30, 2023.

This change has been in the works since the 2021 CORONA Conference when Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown Jr. approved a redesign of the wing headquarters that adds a functional staff to an existing wing headquarter staff. The A-staff is designed to break down bureaucratic barriers, improve speed and quality of decision making, allow better alignment with higher headquarters and grow leaders needed for Great Power Competition.

“By restructuring wing staffs, we streamline authoritative actions and processes throughout the chain of command,” said Col. Jocelyn Schermerhorn, AFSOC Director of Operations (A3). “This new structure reduces the administrative burden at the squadron level allowing them to focus on the mission.”

Each wing within AFSOC is organized with an A-staff that best suits their mission set, which includes:

A1 – Manpower, Personnel, and Services  

A2 – Intelligence                                  

A3 – Operations  

A4 – Logistics, Engineering & Force Protection

A5 – Plans & Requirements 

A6 – Communications  

Wing Staff Agencies - such as Public Affairs, History, Chaplain, JAG Corps, Inspector General, etc., transition to Special Staff in the A-staff model.

Ultimately, Airmen are exposed to the wing A-staff and their processes earlier in their careers, making them better prepared for operating within joint organizations.

“Prior to this change, Airmen were arriving to headquarters assignments and joint deployments without a good or even general understanding of how a numbered staff functions,” said Col. Christopher Busque, AFSOC Director of Manpower, Personnel and Services (A1). “This new structure addresses that concern by allowing Airmen to gain exposure to the A-staff construct earlier on in their careers.”

The transitioning AFSOC wings are expected to meet full operational capability of the A-staff implementation by early FY24.