102nd IW establishes an A-Staff

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Julia Ahaesy
  • 102nd Intelligence Wing

Col. Sean Riley, 102nd Intelligence Wing commander, announced plans to integrate an A-Staff organizational structure alongside the wing staff June 28, 2023. The National Guard Bureau (NGB) is implementing an in-garrison A-Staff at all Air National Guard wings to reflect the new structure of the Air Force. The implementation of the A-Staff at the 102nd Intelligence Wing has a projected initial operational capability (IOC) date of Oct. 1, 2023, and a fully operational capability (FOC) date of Oct. 1, 2024.

“[The] A-Staff’s primary function is to assist the wing commander in the synchronization and integration of the unit’s operations – from integration and delivery of content-dominant analytical expertise and support to the 365-day expeditionary presentation and employment of combat-ready Airmen and capabilities,” said Col. Riley. “Regardless of wing mission, A-Staff activities focus on assisting [commanders] up and down the chain of command in accomplishing it.”

The primary purpose of the new organization is to add an operational focus to the wing staff. With crisis action planning capability, the A-Staff will analyze information before it reaches the wing commander and provide a foundation to support and guide the commander in making and executing important decisions, according to Air University.

“The A-Staff provides an operational focus for both deliberate and crisis action planning at the wing level, and it is designed to help facilitate the wing commander’s decision-making process with the units,” said Lt. Col. Kristen Moulis, A-Staff Chief of Staff (COS) at the 102 IW. “It creates a functional staff of subject matter experts across the wing with experience and expertise that can help each of the different units. It's also a great opportunity for both officers and enlisted to get staff experience that they wouldn't otherwise get working at the unit level.”

The A-Staff construct is composed of functional directorates, led by a COS. Each directorate specializes in specific expertise and collaborates to analyze problems and make recommendations to the commander. The directorates are broken down as follows: Manpower, Personnel and Services (A1); Intelligence, Operations and Strategic Plans (A2/3/5); Logistics and Engineering (A4); and Communications (A6).

The ANG plans to standardize all wings to reflect the same structural organization used across the Total Force and align every wing with the joint model. A similar staff structure can be found in other branches, Air Force higher headquarters and joint coalition partners, according to Air University.

While the A-Staff within other ANG wings will deploy with lead wings under Expeditionary Air Bases (XAB) construct in the Air Force Force Generation (AFFORGEN) concept, the 102 IW will not be a lead wing for the XAB construct. Instead, the A-Staff will stand up at the home station to support employed in place missions. The 102nd IW is the test unit for non-flying wings and is one of several beta sites across the 54.

“We are the test wing for an in-garrison wing staff, a staff that is going to be deployed in place during Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR)] missions,” said Lt. Col. Moulis. “We're working with NGB to establish the framework for what it will be like for ISR wings with an A-Staff.”

A-Staff will comprise 20 to 26 positions. One of the goals of the staff is to assess staff workload that was previously often absorbed and performed at the unit level and shift to A-Staff, thereby giving the units more time and bandwidth to focus on their assigned missions, training and readiness.