ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) —
Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall announced the Air Task Force as the next step in the Air Force’s Force Generation model during the Air and Space Forces Association’s 2023 Air, Space and Cyber Conference, Sept. 11 in National Harbor, Maryland.
“Major initiatives in the U.S. Air Force and Space Force, such as Air Force Force Generation in the Air Force and the evolving allocations of responsibility across Space Force field commands are moves in the right direction,” Kendall said. “On Friday, I approved the Air Force creation of three Air Task Forces to serve as pilots in order to experiment with ways to more effectively provide deployable, integrated units — two for U.S. Central Command and one for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command … they are a major step in the right direction, and we will learn from this experience.”
As part of an ongoing effort to build high-end readiness for the future, the Air Force continues to evolve the way it presents its forces through the AFFORGEN model.
What Airmen need to know about the Air Task Force
– The ATF provides the Air Force with a definable unit of action at a sustainable pace for employing and posturing forces.
– The first ATFs will enter the AFFORGEN cycle in Summer 2024 and will deploy beginning in fiscal year 2026.
– These Airmen which form the ATFs will team, train and deploy together through the AFFORGEN cycle.
– As ATFs are built, Airmen will be sourced from across the Air Force. Further details will be available in the coming months.
In addition to a disciplined force generation model, the Air Force is refining Agile Combat Employment tactics, Multi-Capable Airmen training, A-Staff constructs, and implementing a Mission Command approach to command and control.
Air Task Force construct
The ATF will consist of a Command Element with an attached expeditionary A-Staff; an Expeditionary Air Base Squadron to provide Base Operating Support; and Mission Generation Force Elements with attached Mission Sustainment Teams to facilitate Agile Combat Employment.
– The Command Element will be the ATF’s dedicated leadership team throughout the entire AFFORGEN cycle, focused on building, training, certifying and deploying a cohesive unit postured for success across the spectrum of conflict. The Command Element will consist of the commander, deputy commander, a senior enlisted leader and an expeditionary A-Staff.
– The ATF commander will be a colonel; the ATF deputy commander will be a lieutenant colonel who has successfully completed at least one squadron command assignment; and the senior enlisted leader will be a command chief master sergeant.
– The A-Staff will assist the ATF commander by providing staff support in interacting with higher headquarters and fulfilling the commander’s responsibility to provide resourcing, policy, oversight and guidance.
“Concepts like Multi-Capable Airmen and Agile Combat Employment are aligned with meeting the pacing challenge,” Kendall said.
The ATF model represents the next step in adopting a more modular organization of teams, which generate through the AFFORGEN cycle together and then deploy as a unit to maximize effectiveness.