Air Force Reserve to form A-10 associate units
8/22/2007 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- As part of the Air Force's total force integration, Air Force Reserve Command officials are teaming up with Air Combat Command officials to establish two A-10 Thunderbolt II associate units in October.
A classic associate group of about 215 reservists will support the active duty 23rd Wing at Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
A smaller associate detachment of 14 reservists will augment the A-10 Formal Training Unit at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
Reservists in the Moody group will fly and maintain the A-10s with the regular component under the classic associate unit structure. The first A-10C Thunderbolt II arrived at Moody Aug. 7. About 50 of the upgraded aircraft will move to the Georgia base as a part of force realignment.
The Moody reservists will operate under their own command structure and report to the 442nd Fighter Wing, an Air Force Reserve A-10 unit at Whiteman AFB, Mo.
Under the associate structure, the reservists at Davis-Monthan AFB will integrate functionally into the FTU but receive administrative support from the 917th Wing at Barksdale AFB, La. The Air Force Reserve wing flies its own A-10s there.
"The associate unit program begun in 1968 has served the Air Force and the Air Force Reserve well over the years," said Lt. Gen. John A. Bradley, chief of the Air Force Reserve and AFRC commander. "By sharing equipment, we are able to train more people and make better use of resources."
General Bradley said associate units make good business sense in another way because they capitalize on the experience and skills of reservists. Many reservists receive their training while serving in the regular Air Force before joining the Air Force Reserve.
"Through the associate unit programs, that training investment can be multiplied over and over as people come and go in a unit," General Bradley said.
Development of ACC-gained Reserve fighter associate units began in March 1997 with the launching of the Fighter Reserve Associate Test program. At that time, a dozen reservists worked with the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw AFB, S.C., as part of a FRAT detachment.
The success of that program led to the signing of an agreement in April 2003 by the commanders of ACC and AFRC to establish fighter associate units at ACC F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-15 Eagle locations.
(Courtesy of Air Force Reserve Command News Service)
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