By Senior Airman Kaylee Clark
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
At Little Rock Air Force Base, the maintainers from component and equipment maintenance may be operating under a new name, but their support to the mobility mission continues without change.
In a ceremony May 28, the 19th Component Maintenance Squadron was inactivated, and its personnel merged with the 19th Equipment Maintenance Squadron; the 19th EMS was then redesignated as the 19th Maintenance Squadron.
While the change was a big event for the two squadrons, the Airmen performing the daily operations will continue to perform without changes to the mission.
“The purpose behind the inactivation of the 19th CMS and re-designation of the 19th EMS to the 19th MXS was to consolidate two squadron into one,” said Capt. Wayne Salls, the 19th MXS propulsion flight commander. “The merger changed the command structure.”
The command structure created an environment to ensure all back shops were combined and under a centralized command and control unit. The 19th MXS provides back shop support to all of Team Little Rock, including the 314th Airlift Wing and 189th Airlift Wing.
“A lot of coordination goes into events like this,” said Capt. Brian Humphreys, the 19th MXS maintenance flight officer in charge. “A full team effort is required to pull it off, and a ceremony was a fitting way to exercise the teamwork that’s going to be especially necessary in the first few months of integration.”
This aspect of the merger streamlined the working relationship between Airmen and leadership even faster, creating a stronger bond between the back shops. This unit cohesion will enable the Airmen to continue providing quality service and equipment to the flightline.
“Based on how well everyone worked together to make the ceremony a success, we are off to a great start,” said Humphreys.
The new squadron will have its share of bumps in the road. While operating as separate units, the 19th EMS contained approximately 440 personnel, and the 19th CMS contained approximately 220. Combining the two separate squadrons, leadership must now manage more than 600 personnel. The merger of the two squadrons resulted in one of the largest squadrons of Airmen on Little Rock AFB.
While change is sometimes difficult, it often provides better results in the end. The two squadrons will be able to work closely with one another in a more integrated environment, producing more camaraderie and Airmanship.