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Air Force Featured Stories

Total Force excellence; Fort Meade partnerships grow from reflection

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Gerald Willis
  • 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing

While COVID-19 may have impacted a lot, leaders from the 94th Intelligence Squadron and 16th Intelligence Squadron showed that no matter the obstacle, Total Force Integration between mission partners is crucial to mission success.

In early December 2020, officials from the Headquarters Air Force Directorate of Total Force Integration conducted an assessment of the relationship between the Air Force 94th IS and the Air Force Reserve 16th IS.

During these assessments, HAF/DSI teams seek to improve connections with the Air Force Total Force Associations used to strengthen the relationships between different components of the Air Force performing a common mission.

After initial inspections featuring meetings with leadership, Airmen focus groups and robust data collection, leaders from both components were brought together to discuss.

Both the 94th IS and the 16th IS play a critical role in executing the National Defense Strategy through intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance collection and monitoring at Fort Meade. A stronger understanding of each other’s missions, requirements and capabilities will create a stronger overall force and a wingman each can rely on.

The 70th ISRW held a virtual Total Force Senior Leader Summit for two days and invited all Air Force Reserve and Guard commanders operating in the wing’s airspace to come learn from and teach members of the 70th leadership echelon.

As Brig. Gen. Scheid Hodges, Air Reserve special assistant to the director for Total Force Integration noted, “These visits allow HAF/DSI to assess how well the TFAs are executing the mission while maximizing the operational efficiencies and cost savings inherent to a combined (Air Force)/ARC-component operation.”

After completion of the inspection, members from both sides had this to say about the strides HAF/DSI is taking to encourage these relationships.

“The (assessment) helped us take our association with the 16th IS to the next level,” said Lt. Col. Christina Sheets, 94 IS commander. “While we’ve always valued this relationship, having the opportunity to reflect on where we are and where we’d like to produce value-added results. We are well on our way to implementing an Association 101 for all newcomer’s orientations and I look forward to joining our Total Force team on one of their drill weekends. We especially appreciate the ‘Best Practices from Total Force Associations’ to help us learn and benefit from lessons across our Total Force.”

“It's always helpful to get a fresh take from an objective third party,” said Lt. Col. Barb Givens, 16 IS aligned commander. “The end report confirmed and validated most of our concerns, especially with regard to our manning shortfalls. And although we have a good relationship with our partners in the 94th (IS), the end report gave us some great ideas for improving that relationship.”