Leader Blues

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

TOP STORY >> Satellite squadrons spreading

The 19th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base welcomed its second active associate squadron Saturday with the activation ceremony of the Air Force Reserve’s 52nd Airlift Squadron at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

The 52nd Airlift Squadron joined the Air Force Reserve’s 302nd Airlift Wing as part of the Air Force’s “Total Force Integration” initiative that brings together active-duty and reserve airmen under the same organization, flying the same aircraft.

While the 52nd Airlift Squadron will be assigned to the 19th Airlift Wing, its members will be stationed at Peterson.

“Total Force Integration is about efficiencies,” said Col. Jay Pittman, 302nd Airlift Wing commander. “The active-duty airmen coming to Colorado will fly and maintain our C-130s right alongside our reserve airmen. The Air Force has a need to make more efficient use of aircraft available, and (the 302nd AW) is part of that equation.”

Saturday’s squadron activation included an assumption-of-command ceremony as Lt. Col. Carlos Ortiz, a C-130 senior navigator and Pojoaque, N.M., native, became the 52nd Airlift Squadron’s commander.

“We look forward to working and flying with the men and women of the Air Force Reserve Command and will strive to be the model for C-130 active associations,” Ortiz said.

“We’re looking to optimize mission performance by bringing active duty and Air Force Reserve resources together,” the colonel said.

He also added, “The point of this association is how we share the aircraft. I think the high experience level of Air Force Reserve members will be an invaluable asset in training our younger active-duty airmen.”

The squadron will fly the same C-130s on the Peterson flightline, allowing for maximum use of the 302nd AW’s equipment and resources.

The squadron is the 19th Airlift Wing’s second active associate unit. The other associate unit, the 30th Airlift Squadron located at Cheyenne Municipal Airport, Wyo., is a partnership with the Wyoming Air National Guard.