Reserve to form Distributed Ground System associate unit

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As part of the Air Force total force integration initiatives, Air Force Reserve Command is teaming up with Air Combat Command to form an associate unit with the 548th Intelligence Group in fiscal 2008 at Beale Air Force Base, Calif.

The group operates Distributed Ground System-2 and Deployable Shelterized System-Film components of the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System to produce strategic, operational and tactical intelligence in support of combat operations.

The unit will complement the Air Force Reserve's current associate unit presence in the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle mission at Beale AFB.

Under the Base Realignment and Closure process, manpower authorizations from the Air Force Reserve's 940th Air Refueling Wing headquarters and support forces will remain in place, providing the command structure for these new and emerging missions.

"The associate unit program begun in 1968 has served the Air Force and the Air Force Reserve well over the years," said Lt. Gen. John A. Bradley, the chief of Air Force Reserve and commander of Air Force Reserve Command.

"Under the classic associate structure, our reservists operate and maintain equipment with their active-duty counterparts," the general said. "This approach has been so successful in recent years that the regular Air Force has begun forming active associate units in partnership with unit-equipped Reserve organizations. By sharing equipment, we are able to train more people and make better use of the equipment."

General Bradley said associate units make good business sense because they capitalize on the experience and skills of reservists, many of whom were on active duty before joining the Air Force Reserve.

"Through the associate unit programs, that training investment can be multiplied over and over as people come and go in a unit," General Bradley said.

Under the classic associate concept, Beale AFB's active-duty units will retain principal responsibility for the equipment, and reservists will share in operating and maintaining that equipment.

(Courtesy of Air Force Reserve Command News Service)

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