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AFSOC establishes new directorate: A7 Air Commando Development

  • Published
  • By Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs

On April 25, Air Force Special Operations Command established the Air Commando Development Directorate, also known as the A7, that will lead the way America’s Air Commando’s deliberately train, exercise, experience, and educate to prepare, prevent, and prevail in competition.

This new directorate is aimed at providing policy, oversight, and guidance to support the Command’s collective training, readying Air Commando’s to win.

“We must purposefully develop our Air Commandos for future warfights,” said Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind, AFSOC commander. “The A7 will serve as the AFSOC HQ Champion to ensure prioritization and integration of training, education, exercises and experiences for the command as we develop our force for the future.” 

Col. Eries L.G. Mentzer will serve as the first AFSOC/A7, Air Commando Development director and CMSgt Jeremiah Clark as the senior enlisted leader. The new directorate is the key integrator for the headquarters staff and will also closely collaborate with Headquarters Air Force and USSOCOM counterparts, as well as AETC, SOF partners, and allies to maximize knowledge sharing and leverage best practices.

"As the command broadens from decades of success countering violent extremism and organically gaining experience and building relationship through high ops tempo deployments, the A7 and Air Commando Development Center will orient Air Commandos to the evolved force presentation model, strengthened though integrated training and exercise experiences in a mission command culture,” said Mentzer.

In response to the Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. “CQ” Brown’s cultural change areas, the A7 is also leading the command’s pivot to a Mission Command culture.  In partnership with joint counterparts and the LeMay Center, A7 will host the second Mission Command Summit, from 16-18 May, at Hurlburt Field to identify barriers to Mission Command in AFSOC formations.

The execution arm for the A7 will be the Air Commando Development Center, which is scheduled for activation on July 14 at Hurlburt Field.  The center will be comprised of units focused on education, training, and exercise integration executed by the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School, the 371st Special Operations Combat Training Squadron, and the 370th Special Operations Combat Training Squadron.