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New positions bridge gap at missile wings

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (AFNS) --

In an effort to bridge the gap between young operators and leadership, Air Force Global Strike Command, through the 20th Air Force, established an assistant director of operations, or ADO, position at each missile wing.

Maj. Scott Fleming, currently the legislative liaison for the commander of AFGSC, will take on one of these ADO positions where he will assist flight commanders in developing young operators and work any issues the commander may have through the director of operations.

"The priority on ensuring that these positions got filled definitely was a driver out of the Force Improvement Program, (FIP)" Fleming said.

The FIP is an aggressive, action-oriented, grass roots program aimed at making substantial, rapid and enduring changes across the command. Over 350 recommendations have been identified from the ICBM field, of which 98 percent will be implemented.

"I'm glad to see they are pursing this. Historically in the ICBM units, there has been a large gap between the leadership level and those pulling the duty out there in the field," Fleming said. "If you look at the bomber units and most of the flying units, it's not quite set up that way. They have more mid-level management and leadership from ADOs who are able to bridge that gap." 

ICBM force ADOs will pay huge communication dividends by translating commanders' intent for these first-assignment officers, said Lt. Col. Steven Folds, the 20th AF and Task Force 214 director of operations..

"ADOs will be able to translate issues the commander may have addressed into a more usable format the young operators will understand," Fleming said. "We will provide an extra voice for the Airman conducting the mission in the field." 

These leaders ensure the readiness level and effectiveness of the launch control centers meet the crew force's wartime commitments. 

"In order to effectively achieve this level of readiness, ADOs will be key leaders, teachers and mentors for the crew force," Folds said. "They will also ensure appropriate training is accomplished for all crew members under their charge and will direct additional training as those needs are identified."

Each of the nine missile squadrons across 20th Air Force will have an ADO by the end of the summer; ultimately, two will be at every unit.

Fleming is eager to be the ADO for the 12th Missile Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.

"It's going to be a good opportunity," he said. "For a career field that had a very static way of doing things, this is the time. This is where we are greatly affecting the change on the front end."

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