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Air Force transitions to A-Staff structure for air expeditionary wings

  • Published
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

The U.S. Air Force is implementing standardized A-Staffs for air expeditionary wings to support commanders, maximize responsiveness in crisis and ease integration with joint force elements.

As part of the new Air Force Force Generation, or AFFORGEN, deployment model, presenting forces via the AEW A-Staff structure will increase a wing’s capacity to plan, coordinate and communicate vertically and horizontally to meet commander’s intent.


The AEW A-Staff is a standardized organizational structure, representing the following Air Force functions: A1 Manpower, Personnel, and Services; A2, Intelligence; A3, Operations; A4, Logistics and Engineering; A5, Plans and Integration; and A6, Communications.

“A successful A-Staff will make a commander’s job easier and take the burden of staffing responsibilities off our units,” said Lt. Gen. James Slife, deputy chief of staff for operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. “This means our units can better focus on mission execution instead of staff work.”

An AEW A-Staff is responsible for informing and implementing the wing commander’s decisions while communicating with higher and lateral headquarters, including joint partners who already use similarly organized headquarters while promoting the professional development of assigned staff.

Some personnel and staff functions at the squadron level will be realigned to the AEW A-Staff to support commanders with cross-functional capabilities intended to further enable the Air Force for high-end readiness against a competitive pacing challenge.

Airmen assigned to AEW A-staff roles will not dual-hat responsibilities from the squadron level, and commanders will not be utilized to fill staff roles.

“This is a necessary developmental opportunity for our young officers and senior NCOs,” Slife said. “Being a part of an A-staff will prepare Airmen earlier in their careers for their strategic role in informing the decisions of our Air Force leaders.”

While the AEW A-Staff implementation will inform the enterprise-wide expansion, the complexity of the task necessitates a methodical approach and remains a longer-term effort. Once AEW A-staff implementation is complete, Headquarters Air Force will focus on designing and implementing A-Staffs across all U.S. Air Force wings.