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Incirlik first in USAFE to stand up force support squadron

by Tech. Sgt. Ray Bowden
39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

6/6/2008 - INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (AFPN) -- Incirlik Air Base officials will continue the Air Force-wide merger of services and mission support squadrons when its 39th Services Squadron and 39th Mission Support Squadron officially combine to become the 39th Force Support Squadron.

The wing is the first U.S. Air Forces in Europe unit of any size in the command's history to stand up a force support squadron, and more unions of this type will follow until 2010 when the mergers are expected to be completed.

As with future FSSs, the Incirlik AB's new squadron will be comprised of five flights: Force development, manpower and personnel, Airmen and family services, sustainment services and community services.

Air Force leaders initiated the merger to maximize customer service, reduce costs inherent with maintaining separate organizations and to modernize processes, said Lt. Col. Dale Bruner, the 39 SVS commander.

"We're a leaner force, so we need to focus on getting our people and resources to operate at maximum efficiency," he said.

Lt. Col. Doug Wall, the 39 MSS commander, agreed.

"We've been given the opportunity to create a more agile organization; one which will better meet our needs," he said. "On the surface, most of what we've come to expect from services and the mission support squadron will remain the same. What will change is how these functions are organized and presented to the Air Force community."

Incirlik AB officials will continue to maintain a servicing personnel flight, consolidated club, bowling center, dining facility and its numerous other facilities. Personal goals and needs programs will still be supported by the Incirlik AB Airman and Family Readiness Center and its education center.

Even with this level of continuity, some might still say change of this magnitude takes some getting used to. However, Senior Master Sgt. David Dock, the 39 MSS Manpower and Organization flight chief, is convinced the benefits produced in the wake of this merger will be sweeping.

"Not only will our 'one-stop shopping' concept be enhanced, but also knowledge overlap and process sharing will enable force support squadron Airmen to provide services we need in a timelier manner," he said. "As with any change, there may be minor growing pains, but the Air Force has given this a lot of thought. We will use this merger as a tool to form a stronger support function and keep us as one of USAFE's best."

Colonel Wall said the Incirlik AB force support squadron will be born of practicality.

"In an era when we're trying to use every dollar as efficiently as possible, this is the perfect time to form a force support squadron," he said. "The concept just makes sense and our force support squadron will be the new way Incirlik spells superior support."

An inactivation ceremony for the 39th MSS and 39th SVS is scheduled to occur 9 a.m., June 11, at the Incirlik AB Consolidated Club.

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