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955th AES activates under 455th AEW

  • Published
  • By Capt. Korey Fratini
  • 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
On June 1, 2016 the 966th Air Expeditionary Squadron was deactivated and redesignated as the 955th AES. Under the redesignation the 955th AES will now fall under the 455th Expeditionary Mission Support Group.

Previously the 966th AES fell under the 466th Air Expeditionary Group located at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. During that time the 966th was responsible for all the joint expeditionary tasked (JET) and individual augmentee (IA) assignments throughout Afghanistan.

The 955th AES will still continue that mission, however instead of being a tenant unit of the 455th AEW they will directly fall under the purview of the 455th. The squadron is also in charge of the deployed Air Force civilians that are a part of the civilian expeditionary workforce.

“In many cases this is a transparent change. There are procedures and integration pieces that are being worked out,” said Lt. Col. Monique Farness, 955th AES commander.

The squadron encompasses approximately 350 Airmen spread across approximately 16 different locations throughout Afghanistan and other parts of the globe. These JET/IA Airmen are supporting various missions in support of NATO, Operation Resolute Support and United States Central Command.

The 955th provides many of the administrative functions to support the JET/IA assignments to ensure Airmen and civilians are properly training and ready to serve in the deployed joint environment. Currently the squadron has oversight for Airmen in approximately 70 different career fields.

“We exist to take care of those Airmen,” said Farness. “We also ensure they are linked in to any resources they need and if an Airman has an issue they can reach back to us and we can help work it.”

As the mission in Afghanistan has primarily changed to support the various train, advise, and assist commands so have the requirements for JET/IA assignments. These changes require the 955th AES to remain flexible and ready to support new or evolving requirements.

“Operations in Afghanistan are very fluid,” said Farness. “Trying to find that continual balance of what the Airmen are doing and making sure we are sending the right Airmen for the mission continues to evolve.”

Along with those continual operational changes there are also various challenges that the squadron must face and overcome in order to continue executing the mission.

“We want to make sure we have the right person, with right training and skillsets and with a situation that continues to evolve so rapidly, it can be challenging,” stated Farness.