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AFCENT stands up Expeditionary Theater Support Group

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jennifer Zima
  • Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) Public Affairs

The Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) Expeditionary Theater Support Group (ETSG), a new and critical arm of U.S. Air Forces Central (USAFCENT), celebrated two key events on July 3, 2023, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, with a ceremony marking both the official stand up of this first-of-its-kind organization and change of command.

Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, AFCENT commander and Combined Forces Air Component commander for U.S. Central Command, who presided over the ceremony, highlighted this newly established group's unique role and composition.

"The threat environment facing us today is no longer dominated by terrorists or violent extremist organizations,” said Grynkewich. “But there are other threats in this region, and we must be ready to face them as well. The ETSG represents a critical evolution in AFCENT’s warfighting capabilities to address these emerging threats."

U.S. Air Force Col. Glenn Cameron officially took command from U.S. Air Force Col. Anthony Figiera. Since its inception in March, the ETSG has successfully conducted missions across 12 different bases in eight countries. Built out of the former Program Management Office (PMO), the ETSG also includes elements previously aligned to AFCENT A4, A6, and A7, creating a light, agile formation capable of multiple support functions across the AOR.

“The ETSG is an organization that will help us fight the next war. It’s about agile combat employment,” said Figiera. “This group is focused on campaigning -- setting the theater, providing capabilities and resources, but can swiftly transition from theater campaigning into operations execution.”

Grynkewich acknowledged the visionary thinking behind the ETSG's formation, stating, "To be ready to face these types of threats required a new approach, we needed a way to manage the risk these represented – we needed a way to ensure we could generate airpower whenever and wherever needed."

Under Figiera's guidance, the newly stood-up ETSG combines expertise from engineering, logistics, and communications to conduct more effective warfighting missions. The group consists of multi-capable Airmen who collaborate to fulfill mission requirements. “The TSG today has Airmen from 19 Air Force Specialty Codes working with it – an echelon-above-wing support capability,” Grynkewich mentioned.

The ETSG is committed to significantly impacting the U.S. Air Force’s mission, focusing on the rapid application of critical capabilities where they are needed most. "This will be vital tomorrow as the ETSG works to ensure our theater is set for any future contingency operations,” said Grynkewich. “It will be essential in wartime, allowing us to execute Agile Combat Employment by ensuring those locations have the logistics, engineering, and communications infrastructure in place."

As Figiera prepares for his new role as Director of Expeditionary Support and Innovation at Lackland Air Force Base, the reins of the ETSG pass to Col. Glenn Cameron, who brings an assortment of unique experiences to the role. Grynkewich expressed his optimism in Cameron's capabilities, "Glenn has the exact right background for this new and impactful command, and I’m excited to see what he and his team do next."