Florida Air Guard re-org to bring five geographically separated units under 125th Fighter Wing
By MSgt Thomas Kielbasa, FLNG Public Affairs
/ Published November 25, 2014
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Five Florida Air National Guard units are being reorganized this month to fall under the purview of the 125th Fighter Wing.
In order to comply with Air Force Instruction 38-101, the five geographically separated units will be assigned to the Mission Support Group and the Operations Group at the Jacksonville-based fighter wing.
The 202nd REDHORSE Squadron and the 290th Joint Communications Support Squadron will be assigned to the 125th Mission Support Group. The 159th Weather Flight, 131st Training Flight, and 114th Space Control Squadron will be assigned to the 125th Operations Group.
The 101st Air Operations Group and Headquarters FLANG Detachment 1 at Tyndall Air Force Base will not be affected as part of this reorganization at this time.
Commander of the Florida Air National Guard Brig. Gen. James Eifert said the reorganization will not only bring the organization into compliance with AFI 38-101, it will ensure that the five units will be captured under the Wing's Commander Inspection Program (CCIP). He noted that the new Air Force Inspection System is dependent on the Wing CCIP to "decrease risks to readiness, improve compliance, ensure mission accomplishment" and ensure a "continuous evaluation of unit effectiveness."
While the reorganization will affect roughly 500 Florida Air National Guard personnel, drill-status Guardsmen from these Geographically Separated Units (GSUs) may see few changes other than more streamlined assistance from the resident support structure provided by the 125th Fighter Wing.
"All of the GSU commanders are really supportive of it," Eifert said, noting that those units will now have greater advocacy from the 125th Operations Group and Mission Support Group commanders who will report directly to the 125th Fighter Wing commander. "Additionally, there are synergies and efficiencies we hope to realize from an organization under one Wing commander."
Eifert explained that within a short time, benefits from the reorganization could include better opportunities for career advancement within the 125th and the GSUs, and even better delegation of responsibilities and resources within the Florida Air National Guard.
"There will certainly be growing pains in the short term as we learn how to work with one another under this new structure," the general explained. "With a positive attitude and an eye on the advantages of this re-org, however, we will quickly find our rhythm and make the whole organization better!"
He added that prior to this reorganization, Florida and only two other states in the nation had GSUs reporting straight to the Joint Force Headquarters; all of the other states with GSUs had already reorganized and realigned into some sort of functional structure that took ownership of those GSUs to a Wing or Group level, in accordance with Air Force organizational structure guidelines.
According to Commander of the 125th Fighter Wing Col. Brian Simpler, this reorganization will bring better support to the combat Airmen of the GSUs.
"We could not be more proud to welcome these outstanding Airmen into the 125th Fighter Wing," Simpler said. "They bring a great capability to the citizens of Florida as well as to combatant commanders around the world. This reorganization will enable all of us to work as one team to accomplish our missions more effectively."