By Airman 1st Class Scott Poe
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The 913th Airlift Group is Little Rock Air Force Base’s most recent addition to the combat airlift mission. In a ceremony July 13, 2014, the Air Force Reserve Command deactivated 22nd Air Force, Detachment One and the 913th AG stood up. As a result of the Air Force’s Total Force Integration initiative, the 50th Airlift Squadron under the 19th Airlift Wing is an associate unit of the 327th AS under the 913th AG.
“The Air Force’s Total Force Integration means a conglomerate between the Reserve, Guard and active duty,” said 2nd Lt. John Sessoms, a 913th AG executive officer. “It exemplifies the joint effort by integrating Guard, Reserve and active duty to become one team.”
The new AG was authorized to grow to approximately 805 Airmen and civilians in fiscal year 2015. Approximately 28 percent of the members work full time as Air Reserve Technicians and Civil Servants, while the remainder perform as Traditional Reservists, training to defend our national interests.
The 913th AG is a self-sufficient group and consists of the following squadrons:
The 327th Airlift Squadron
The 913th Operations Support Squadron
The 913th Maintenance Squadron
The 96th Aerial Port Squadron
The 913th Force Support Squadron
The 913th Aerospace Medicine Squadron
The 913th is still growing and will be fully operational in the near future. Currently, they have 12 C-130H2 aircraft ready to support any operational needs and contingency operations worldwide.
Starting from scratch is no easy task. Although the 913th has officially been established, there are still many requirements to meet. This includes having the proper tools, supplies, equipment and Airmen to perform the mission.
“Our main focus is training our Airmen, and procuring equipment,” said Senior Master Sgt. Mark Brekken, 50th AS maintenance superintendent.
The 913th is currently gathering tools, equipment and facilities to become self-sufficient. They are also in the process of recruiting and training Airmen to support the mission. As the 19th AW down-sizes its C-130H fleet, the 913th AG is acquiring the specific H-model tools and equipment necessary from the 19th AW, in order to effectively carry out their mission.
“This has been a very effective partnership,” said Brekken. “It saved a lot of money, because we didn’t have to have equipment shipped to us from somewhere else, the equipment was right here on base, given to us by our partners.”
The group relies on their partnerships to fulfill their mission requirements. Almost half of the current maintainers have come from the 19th AW. The 19th AW will also assist with back shops, including aerospace ground equipment, sheet metal, non-destructive inspections, heavy maintenance and more.
While the 913th AG is still establishing continuity, eventually the 19th AW will be able to evenly disperse the heavy responsibility of combat airlift with their partners and count on the 913th for effective air support.