ALI AL SALEM AIR BASE, Kuwait – The 386th Expeditionary Mission Support Group was the third group to decommission as the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing transitions from expeditionary group construction to the staff model of the ‘air. Colonel John Gustafson stepped down from command on June 22, 2022, commemorating the bravery of Airmen who have served the group for the past 20 years.
“The United States faces an increasingly complex global security environment characterized by clear challenges to the international order and the re-emergence of long-term strategic competition,” said Colonel Wilson, commander of the 386th AEW. “Building A-staff improves execution of operational and administrative responsibilities, increases synchronization for crisis and contestation situations, and better aligns with our mutual partners, who already use similarly organized headquarters structures.”
Gustafson’s legacy and leadership was evidenced by his various accomplishments in defending and improving the facility for Airmen and coalition partners, executed by his six units.
“Your defenders have staffed and managed the largest flying security team program in the [U.S. Central Command area of responsibility]”, Wilson said. “They ran to the sound of guns as they sent eight team members to Kabul International Airport to secure flight lines and personnel transfers in the largest operation in the world. evacuation of non-combatants in the history of the world.”
In addition to its combat power projection, the contracting squadron under Gustafson’s command funded new facilities and equipment, while the civil engineering squadron overcame the construction backlog, handling more than 40 projects throughout the year. During this time, Gustafson also facilitated the strengthening of partnerships with the host nation and joint and coalition forces.
“The 386th Logistics Readiness Squadron has been supporting regular Kuwaiti C-17 uploads and downloads,” Wilson said. “Explosive Ordnance Disposal answered the call when our host nation discovered unexploded ordnance in the middle of the desert. And your contracting squadron has implemented a quarterly vendor day to educate local vendors on the complex Department of Defense contracting process, enabling them to better support our base.
Gustafson led more than 3,600 Total Force Airmen on three deployment rotations to three operational sites and guided U.S. Central Command’s busiest airport, moving more than 80,000 passengers and nearly 60,000 tons of cargo.
“The 386th has a strong tradition of honor, tracing our lineage back to the 386th Bombardment Group when it was formed on Nov. 25, 1942,” Gustafson said. “During World War II, the 386th first deployed to England under the powerful 8th Air Force and began flying combat missions in September 1943. The group was later transferred to the 9th Army air where he participated in a number of decisive air campaigns to include D-Day and follow-on missions to help liberate Europe.
While the historic bomber group was initially inactivated on November 7, 1945, it was reactivated on August 12, 2002, when the Air Force erected the 386th designation as an Air Expeditionary Wing, establishing the 386th EMSG under her.
For two decades, the 386th EMSG provided basic operational support integration functions at Ali Al Salem Air Base.
“Civilian engineers, logisticians, defenders, force support, cyber and contract airmen spent countless hours executing the mission, from combat convoys to theater gateway operations, dispatching from forces in Afghanistan into Iraq, to retrograde operations, getting forces out of Iraq, and then Afghanistan has recently been a crucial bait space for the largest non-combatant evacuation in history,” said Gustafson said.
“Until today, all of these units reported to the 386th EMSG,” Gustafson said. “But the world is changing and our senior leaders recognize it. General Brown points out that the Air Force must adapt to this change. Today, we are accelerating that change by deactivating the 386th EMSG and implementing another key element of the Wing’s new A-staff. It is time for new processes and innovative thinking to continue the development of agile combat employment and the capability to support it. During this change, I know this Wing will continue its legacy of high performance, because even though the group is gone, our six squadrons [and airmen] will remain the same.
|Date posted:||27.06.2022 08:55|
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