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Agency activates 2nd Weather Group

by G. A. Volb
Air Force Weather Agency Public Affairs

9/19/2007 - OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AFPN) -- In streamlining the way the Air Force Weather Agency functions, the 2nd Weather Group activated Sept. 19 at the Bennie Davis Maintenance Facility here.

The ceremony marked the culmination of an AFWA reorganization that began in May 2006 with the standup of the 1st Weather Group.

The 2nd WXG is made up of the 2nd Systems Operations Squadron, 2nd Weather Squadron and 14th Weather Squadron, the latter formerly known as the Air Force Combat Climatology Center, in Asheville, N.C.

According to Col. Richard Twigg, who is dual-hatted as the AFWA vice commander and the 2nd WXG commander, the mission of the three squadrons in the group remains the same as it has since the agency's restructuring started more than a year ago:  24/7 support to the operational warfighter and the nation's intelligence community. Now, however, it will have group-level leadership rather than being rolled up under the AFWA A-Staff umbrella.

"This shouldn't be viewed so much as the addition of just another Air Force group," Colonel Twigg said, "but the conclusion of a plan to clearly distinguish ongoing operations from planning and staffing functions."

The result is improved support to warfighters in two directions.

"First, the warfighter has a group-level Air Force unit to contact directly that has operational control of assets providing direct support. It's a structure the mainstream Air Force recognizes and understands," Colonel Twigg said. "Second, it allows 2nd WXG units to focus on the mission instead of staff functions, giving a more specific effort toward warfighter support from the basic fighting unit of the Air Force, the squadron."

The colonel pointed out that "fighting units" in the Air Force are typically at squadron level.

"The 14th Weather Squadron, in their role as Air Force Combat Climatology Center, has always provided a valued level of support to the warfighter," he said.  "The re-designation underpins the fact that they are direct contributors to the warfighting effort."

As commander of the 2nd WXG, Colonel Twigg's short-term goal is to ensure the  troops in the group and three squadrons have a clear mission and vision.

"I want to make sure we have the resources, structure and training to make that mission and vision a success," he added. "Then I'll get out of their way and watch the superb professionals who comprise this group make it happen."

The Air Force Weather Agency, headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., has 15 other locations around the world providing and supporting detailed, area-specific weather insight used in planning and executing real-world missions by organizations and troops fighting the war on terrorism. The agency also provides family-oriented forecasts for those living overseas who watch American Forces Network broadcasts.

"AFWA is a special place," Colonel Twigg said. "It's tough to tell others about the complexity of the structure unless they come and see it first hand. But I'm telling anyone willing to listen about the superb work our warfighters are doing on a daily basis. Our people are the best at what they do, and we need to continue to get the story out on these professionals." 

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