Maxwell AFB and Gunter Annex are home to Air University, the 42nd Air Base Wing, the 908th Airlift Wing and many other associated organizations. Air University is the education arm of the Air Force and provides a professional educational environment that promotes creative thought on air and space power.
As the support base organization for Maxwell and Gunter, the 42nd Air Base Wing provides the infrastructure and logistical support needed for Air University, the other organizations and personnel assigned.
The 908th Airlift Wing's mission is to recruit, organize and train Air Force reservists and prepare them for active duty in time of war, national emergencies and to maintain our national security objectives.
Air University's primary operating locations are concentrated on three main installations. Most AU programs are at Maxwell AFB in northwest Montgomery, Ala., some are across town at Maxwell's Gunter Annex; and one is located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.
Although AU draws students from throughout the Department of Defense and from the military forces of other nations, its mission is described in terms of the two major groups it's organized primarily to serve: U.S. Air Force commissioned officers and enlisted members. For them, educational opportunities begin before they enter active service and follow them throughout their careers.
The 42nd ABW essentially owns and is responsible for the facilities' infrastructure maintenance and upkeep and provides support to all assigned personnel.
The area's military population includes officers and enlisted personnel at Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex; students at the many schools on MAFB, including the Air War College, Officer Training School and Air Command and Staff College; and numerous people who serve in the National Guard military reserve programs throughout the tri-county area of Montgomery, Autauga, and Elmore counties.
Additionally, there are some 9,000 plus military retirees who have selected Montgomery from among anywhere else in the world to make their home.
The population of the Maxwell/Gunter permanent party which includes Air University, the 42nd ABW, associated units and civilian employees is more than 15,000. The total military population in Montgomery, counting active duty, dependents, retirees, Guard and Reserve, is estimated at more than 25,500. Additionally, the bases provide approximately 7,155 secondary jobs. Each year, military personnel donate more than 70,000 volunteer man-hours to the community.
Air University institutions at Maxwell AFB include: Air War College; Air Command and Staff College; Squadron Officer College; the College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education; Ira C. Eaker College for Professional Development, which includes the International Officer School; Air Force Officer Accession and Training Schools, which includes Officer Training School and Reserve Officer Training Corps; Community College of the Air Force; and the Academic Office which consists of several other organizations. Air University also supports Civil Air Patrol.
Additionally, at Maxwell's nearby Gunter Annex, Air University manages the College for Enlisted Professional Military Education, which includes the Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy. The Headquarters Standard Systems Group (SSG) is also located at Gunter, and is responsible for data processing and communications computer systems and capabilities for major commands and Air Force bases around the world.
The 42nd ABW provides primary support for both Maxwell and Gunter, ranging from providing financial, personnel, housing, maintenance, legal, recreational and medical needs to fire protection, chaplain services and base security.
The 908th Airlift Wing's fleet of nine C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft are based at Maxwell. The unit is active in supporting U.S. humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts worldwide.
Secretary of Defense Recommendations: In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to close Mansfield-Lahm Municipal Airport Air Guard Station (AGS), OH. It would distribute the eight C-130H aircraft of the 179th Airlift Wing (ANG) to the 908th Airlift Wing (AFR), Maxwell AFB, AL (four aircraft) and several other installations. This recommendation would distribute C-130 aircraft to Maxwell Air Force Base (21), which had a higher military value than Mansfield. The addition of aircraft at Maxwell Air Force Base would create an optimally sized Reserve Component squadron.
In another recommendation, DoD recommended to realign Maxwell AFB and two other installations by relocating Air & Space Information Systems Research and Development & Acquisition to Hanscom AFB, MA. This recommendation would reduce the number of technical facilities engaged in Air & Space Sensors, Electronic Warfare, and Electronics and Information Systems RDAT&E from 6 to 2. Through this consolidation, the Department would increase efficiency of RDAT&E operations resulting, in a multi-functional center of excellence in the rapidly changing technology area of C4ISR. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 3,254 jobs (1,971 direct jobs and 1,283 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Montgomery, AL, Metropolitan Statistical Area (1.6 percent).
In another recommendation DoD would realign Maxwell Air Force Base, AL; along with Naval Air Station Meridian, MS and Naval Station Newport, RI; by relocating religious training and education to Fort Jackson, SC, establishing a Joint Center of Excellence for religious training and education.
Secretary of Defense Justification: This recommendation distributes C-130 aircraft to two bases with higher military value: Little Rock Air Force Base (17) and Maxwell Air Force Base (21). The addition of aircraft at Maxwell Air Force Base creates an optimally sized Reserve Component squadron. Additionally, these transfers move C-130 force structure from the Air National Guard to the Air Force Reserve and active duty, addressing a documented imbalance in the active/Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve manning mix for C-130s.
Consolidation of a Joint Center of Excellence for religious training and education at Fort Jackson, SC, creates a synergistic benefit by having each Service's officer and enlisted programs conducted in close proximity to operational forces. Realized savings result from consolidation and alignment of similar officer and enlisted educational activities and the merging of common support functions. This recommendation supports the following DoD transformational options: (1) establish center of excellence for joint education and training by combining like schools and (2) establish joint officer and enlisted specialized skills training.
Commission Findings: The Commission found that the Department of Defense recommendation to close Mansfield-Lahm Municipal Airport Air Guard Station was not supportable. The Commission establishes an enclave at Mansfield-Lahm Municipal Airport Air Guard Station, Ohio. The Commission established a C-130 wing at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. This recommendation is consistent with the Commission's Air National Guard Laydown plan.
This recommendation directing aircraft movement and personnel actions in connection with Air National Guard installations and organizations is designed to support the Future Total Force. The Commission expects that the Air Force will find new missions where needed, provide retraining opportunities, and take appropriate measures to limit possible adverse personnel impact. The Commission's intent is that the Air Force will act to assign sufficient aircrew and maintenance personnel to units gaining aircraft in accordance with current, established procedures. However, the Commission expects that all decisions with regard to manpower authorizations will be made in consultation with the governor of the state in which the affected Air National Guard unit is located. Any manpower changes must be made under existing authorities, and must be made consistent with existing limitations. Some reclassification of existing positions may be necessary, but should not be executed until the Air Force and the state have determined the future mission of the unit to preclude unnecessary personnel turbulence.
For the third recommendation the Commission found no reason to disagree with the Secretary’s recommendation and justification. The Commission believes a Joint Center for Religious Education and Training at Fort Jackson will provide significant jointness benefits to the Chaplain Corps, and better prepare chaplains to comfortably minister to members of all service branches. The Commission also believes that during DoD implementation, course curricula can be developed to achieve both goals of consolidating training where appropriate, and providing service-unique training where necessary.
Commission Recommendations: Establish 8 C-130H PAA at the 908th Airlift Wing (AFR), Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
The Commission finds the Secretary's third recommendation consistent with the final selection criteria and the Force Structure Plan. Therefore, the Commission approves the recommendation of the Secretary.
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