Air Force Weather Agency
Published March 24, 2005
Air Force Weather Agency is a field operating agency reporting to the Headquarters Air Force Director of Weather, Deputy Chief of Staff Air and Space Operations. It was formed October 15, 1997, and has its headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
The mission of Air Force Weather Agency is maximizing America's air, space, cyberspace and land power by enabling decision makers to exploit relevant environmental information across the full spectrum of warfare.
Personnel and Resources
AFWA manning consists of more than 1,400 active-duty, reserve, civilian and contract personnel. AFWA executes a $183 million annual budget, including more than $98 million in operations and maintenance.
AFWA is organized into a headquarters element, consisting of staff agencies, two groups, four directorates, a subordinate center, and five solar observatories.
The 1st Weather Group, with Headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., includes four operational weather squadrons responsible for providing around-the-clock analyses, forecasts, warnings, and aircrew mission briefings to Air Force, Army, Guard and Reserve forces operating at 350 installations throughout the continental United States. Each OWS has a specified geographical area of responsibility: 9th OWS, located at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., is responsible for the southeastern United States; 15th OWS, located at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., is responsible for the northern and northeast United States; 25th OWS, located at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., is responsible for the western United States; and 26th OWS, located at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., is responsible for the southern United States. These squadrons also provide initial qualification and upgrade training for new apprentice forecasters and weather officers.
The 2nd Weather Group delivers timely, relevant and specialized terrestrial, space and climatological global environmental intelligence to joint warfighters, DOD decision-makers, national agencies, and allied nations for the planning and execution of missions across the complete spectrum of military operations through the operation, sustainment and maintenance of Air Force Weather's $277 million strategic center computer complex, production network and applications. The 2nd WXG comprises Offutt Air Force Bases' 2nd Systems Operations Squadron and 2nd Weather Squadron, plus the 14th Weather Squadron in Asheville, N.C. There are four solar observatories that also fall under the 2nd WXG: Det. 1, Learmonth, Australia; Det. 2, Sagamore Hill, Mass.; Det. 4, Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.; and Det. 5, Palehua, Hawaii.
The Manpower and Personnel Directorate (A1) provides the full spectrum of manpower, organization, personnel and training support for AFWA.
The Air and Space Operations, Plans and Requirements Directorate (A3/5) assists Air Staff in managing AFW career field training requirements process, and obtains and implements training to meet those requirements. The directorate helps exploit weather information for warfighting operations and coordinates AFW policy issues and oversees and executes the AFW Standardization and Evaluation Program for Weather Operations. A3/5 also develops and maintains concepts of operations for how AFW supports the most weather sensitive joint capabilities areas, works with Air Staff to integrate AFW CONOPS with Air Force plans and programs, and is lead command agent for gathering operational requirements, in conjunction with MAJCOM functional counterparts and users of AFW products, data and services.
The Communications Directorate (A6) provides policy and planning oversight of command, control, and communications for the Air Force Weather Agency, supporting contingency actions, daily operations and general C4 support.
The Strategic Plans and Programs Directorate (A8) directs the planning, programming, budgeting, development, acquisition, engineering, configuration management, modification, installation, integration, logistics, and life cycle support of all standard weather systems and computer processing equipment.
Air Force Combat Weather Center, located at Hurlburt Field, Fla., develops, evaluates, exploits and implements new tactics, techniques, procedures and technologies across Air Force Weather to enhance the effectiveness of Air Force, Army, Special Forces, joint and combined operations.
AFWA traces its heritage to the organization of the Meteorological Service of the Signal Corps during World War I. On July 1, 1937, the Secretary of War transferred responsibility for weather services to the Army Air Corps. The official lineage of AFWA began April 14, 1943, when the Army Air Forces organized and activated the Weather Wing, which quickly established itself at Asheville, N.C. In 1945, the Army Air Forces redesignated the Weather Wing the Army Air Forces Weather Service and in early 1946, the service moved to Langley Field, Va. On March 13, 1946, it was redesignated the Air Weather Service and assigned to the Air Transport Command, followed soon thereafter with a move to Gravelly Point, Va.
With the formation of the United States Air Force in 1947, Air Weather Service assumed the responsibility of worldwide weather reporting and forecasting for both the Air Force and the Army. In 1948, Air Weather Service moved to Andrews AFB, Md., and was assigned to the newly activated Military Air Transport Service, which was later redesignated Military Airlift Command. Air Weather Service relocated to Scott AFB, Ill., in 1958, where it remained for nearly four decades.
The Air Force designated Air Weather Service a field operating agency and re-assigned it to Headquarters United States Air Force in 1991. On Oct. 15, 1997, Air Weather Service was redesignated the Air Force Weather Agency and relocated to Offutt AFB, Neb.
Awards and Honors
2000 Air Force Association Theodore Van Karman Award
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award: May 1, 1984 - Apr. 30, 1986; May 1, 1986 - Apr. 30, 1988; Sep. 1, 1993 - Sep. 30, 1995; Oct. 1, 1995 - Sep. 30, 1996; Sep. 1, 1996 - Sep. 30, 1998; Oct.1, 1998 - Sep. 30, 1999; Oct. 1, 1999 - Sep. 30, 2001; Oct. 1, 2001 - Sep. 30, 2003
World War II American Theater Service Streamer