The Total Force Integration Directorate (AF/DSI), within the Air Force, Director of Staff, recently conducted a Total Force Association health assessment of the 315th and 341st Cyberspace Operations Squadrons (COS), as well as the 512th Intelligence Squadron (Reserve) at Fort George G. Meade from July 21-25.
Over five days, Total Force Integration (TFI) officials observed the current state of integration between the Active and Reserve components and units at Fort Meade. The assessment primarily focused on three areas and how each contributes to mission execution: cost and resources, partnerships and culture, and planning.
“The DSI team was here to ensure that our Regular Air Force and Reserve partnership was the right fit, and really the right setup to achieve the mission. They talked to airmen of all ranks and career fields, about a number of topics. Overall, I feel it was very positive.” said Lt Col Kevin P. Peel, Commander, 512th IS.
Both the 315th COS and 341st COS are part of the 67th Cyberspace Wing and fall under Sixteenth Air Force. Together, they are responsible for presenting combat cyberspace capabilities to U.S. Cyber Command and conducting global cyberspace operations.
The 512th Intelligence Squadron (IS) was activated in 2017 and is one of two Air Force Reserve Command units under U.S Cyber Command. The unit’s mission is to assist the operations of U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF) in defending the Nation from malicious cyber actors, activities, and actions.
Speaking to the importance of total force integration, Lt Col Joseph M. Hinson, Commander, 315th COS, said, “Integration of our TFI partnership is key. Our teams work together to ensure we present the right Airmen with the right skills to our supported task forces. By doing so we ensure seamless support regardless of an Airman’s status.”
Health assessments are typically conducted through conversations with Airmen, focus groups, systems of record data collection, and meetings with leadership. Best practices, lessons learned, and areas of improvement are shared with the association, followed by aggregated analyses across the cyber/ISR core functions, and are shared with the Total Force Enterprise.
The United States Air Force defines the Total Force as the Regular Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, Civilian Workforce, and Civil Air Patrol when conducting missions as the official Air Force Auxiliary.
Established in 2014, TFI seeks to build a more effective and efficient Total Force by integrating Airmen from the Regular Air Force, Guard, and Reserve components through joint exercises and coordination. Integration improves familiarity with separate organizational structures, chains of command, weapons platforms, networks, and standard operating procedures.
Speaking to the greater good that comes from associations like the one at Ft. Meade, Maj Gen Randy Efferson, Special Assistant to the Director of the Air National Guard, said, “it continually amazes me that we get such high caliber people from the civilian sector to put their careers on hold to wear the uniform because they are trying to give something back to a country that has given them so much. America is getting synergy and great value from the pairing of Airmen across the Total Force in this association.”
“The collaboration of the 512 IS and our unit, the 341 COS has assisted in USCYBERCOM mission execution by bringing in experience and talent that reinforces operational best practices and has ensured mission success,” said Lt Col Torn Tompkins, Commander, 341st COS.
For more information on “how to” TFI and develop Total Force Associations, go to the AF Portal (AF Total Force Integration) or email [email protected].