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NEWS | April 12, 2021

Local Air Force wings forge strong bonds through partnerships

By Samantha Mathison 960th Cyberspace Wing Public Affairs

Commanders of the 433rd Airlift Wing and the 960th Cyberspace Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland made the wings’ partnership official when they signed a formal memorandum of understanding March 31.  

Teams from each wing spent almost a year working together documenting the required mission support services to optimize business processes and the manpower needed to support Air Force Reserve policies. 

"Building a strong relationship with the 433rd AW was one of my first tasks when I arrived," said Col. Rick Erredge, 960th CW commander. "It is extremely important to find ways to work together on setting and understanding expectations for the success of both wings.”

The Air Force Reserve designates a lead wing when more than one wing is located at the same installation.

At Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, the 433rd AW is the lead wing responsible for providing military and travel pay services, force support functions, deployment processing, and information technology, among other programs.

“I’ve been the supported commander before, so I know how important it is to document the required services and programs from the supporting wing," said Col. Terry McClain, 433rd AW commander. "In the end, it’s all about making sure we take care of the Airmen in both wings.”  

Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command applied manpower standards to these functions to determine the manpower needed to support the Reservist population at JBSA-Lackland.

The two wings worked closely together when COVID-19 forced the organizations to move functions to virtual platforms and increased the need for collaboration. An example is how the two wings partnered on creating a professional development committee to offer classes virtually to both wings’ members. 

“The combined effort of both wings while working together to overcome the barriers presented due to the current pandemic was just awesome to witness," said Chief Master Sgt. Shana Cullum, former 433rd AW command chief. "The leadership team made it a point to assist our members by creating ways to ensure they could achieve their professional goals in this obviously stressful environment. The success of our members highlights the can-do attitude of our Reserve Citizen Airmen.”

According to Erredge, the signing of the memorandum of understanding represents a significant milestone in the formal relationship between the two wings and memorializes what services are provided and how the two wings will interact going forward.    

“This is a huge step in providing Airmen of both wings with documented expectations that take the burden of the relationship off of our Airmen and put it on to the institution,” Erredge said.