Fairchild Airmen return from first AFFORGEN deployment

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Clare Werner
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing

Airmen assigned to the 92nd Air Refueling Wing returned to Fairchild Air Force Base from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, beginning April 6, 2024.

The 92nd ARW was one of the first lead wings to deploy personnel from its squadrons under the Air Force Force Generation deployment model, which represents a new mobilization structure that prepares Airmen for future deployments.

The AFFORGEN cycle consists of four phases, each six months long, totaling 24 months. The first two stages include preparation through training and maintaining medical and certification readiness. The third step involves the deployment tasking and fulfillment, and the last phase is designed to allow Airmen to reset before beginning the cycle again.

“Shortly after AFFORGEN’s announcement, we had a limited time in which to train, condensing an 18-month spin-up cycle into approximately seven months,” said Maj. Todd Gamiles, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing director of logistics and maintenance. “This included the Lead Wing Command and Control Course for our key leaders, as well as our certification event during Mobility Guardian in Australia during the summer.”

The AFFORGEN model represents a change from previous deployment models where Airmen deployed from multiple bases. Now, units that have already established relationships and continuity deploy from fewer bases, creating an environment that capitalizes on existing unit cohesion and teamwork.

“AFFORGEN made this deployment different [from others] because we knew the roster composition before deploying into theater,” Gamiles said. “Whereas before you might have deployed with only a couple people from your base, now we are starting to see larger numbers from a single location.”

Airmen assigned to squadrons within the 92nd ARW filled roles within the 379th AEW A-Staff, which comprises a standardized organizational structure with six Air Force functions: A1-Manpower, Personnel and Services; A2-Intelligence; A3-Operations; A4-Logistics and Engineering; A5-Plans and Integration; and A6-Communications.

Under the new AFFORGEN deployment model, forces are presented within an A-Staff structure to increase the wing’s capacity to plan, coordinate and communicate vertically and horizontally to meet commanders’ intent.

“The biggest impact was on the A-Staff, where Fairchild Airmen were making strategic, long-range decisions for the future of Al Udeid,” said Chief Master Sgt. Adam Watson, the operations flight superintendent assigned to the 379th AEW.

Brig. Gen. Douglas Jackson, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, said Airmen assigned to the 92nd ARW guided the largest and most indispensable Air Expeditionary Wing in the U.S. Air Force to unprecedented levels.

“They paved the way for how the Air Force now presents forces and brilliantly showcased the ability to generate combat air power in our nation’s only theater of combat operations,” he said.