732nd OSS activates, sets RPA group up for success

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  • By 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
  • 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
The 732nd Operations Support Squadron activated during an assumption of command ceremony at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, Jan. 23, 2019.

The new unit, dubbed the “Archers,” will provide the support required for the MQ-9 Reaper attack squadrons within the 732nd Operations Group to seamlessly execute their persistent attack and reconnaissance missions.

“The 732nd OSS will provide standardized, process-driven intelligence, weather, and targeting support to the combat squadrons in the 732nd OG,” said Lt. Col. Hector, 732nd OSS commander. “Additionally, the OSS will identify best practices and use a select group of weapons, tactics, and training experts to standardize training and combat operations within the 732nd OG.”

The activation of the new 732nd OSS will align the 732nd OG with other operations groups in the Air Force and provide an essential network of support. Until this point, the commander of the 732nd OG, the deputy commanders, and the combat squadrons have been tasked with completing some of those tasks.

“Large scale projects and infrastructure challenges will now be led by the OSS, allowing the overtasked combat squadrons to focus on combat operations,” said Hector.

After creating the framework for a brand new organization, the 732nd OSS will dedicate subject matter experts to standardize and pave the way for the attack squadrons in the 732nd OG. According to Hector, this standardization will be especially valuable as the group transitions toward the new dwell construct.

Dwell refers to the post-deployment period of home station time when units ensure personnel can rest and complete any individual or unit requirements while preparing for the next fight.

In the remotely piloted aircraft community, Airmen execute the mission from a stateside location. This, combined with an insatiable demand, has kept RPA crews in combat for extended periods of time with no rest cycle.

“The dwell initiative goes back to the Cultural Process Improvement Program,” said Lt. Col. Robert, 732nd OSS director of operations. “We never have had a chance to take a breath and reconstitute. Dwell will enable us to accomplish continuity training, complete advanced qualifications, and give us an opportunity to complete professional military education while on a normal schedule.”

While dwell provides an immediate improvement to the quality of life across the wing, it’s also critical to ensuring RPA crews are able to build combat readiness through training opportunities.

Hector believes the activation of the 732nd OSS will not only benefit the 732nd OG, but the overall RPA enterprise as well.

“The standup of the 732nd OSS will open new lines of communication, giving us the ability to share tactics, techniques and procedures and disseminate them to other communities so they can learn from our innovative skill set,” said Hector. “This can’t be done properly without the manpower to do so. Therefore, the OSS will have dedicated personnel who can focus on documenting best practices within the 732nd OG. Whether they are combat, intelligence, weather, or infrastructure related, the OSS will communicate our best practices to other RPA operations groups. This will further enable combat effectiveness and resiliency throughout the enterprise and the Air Force.”

According to Robert, the ability to pave the way is represented in the unit’s patch, which showcases a black and white globe representing the 732nd OG and its persistent reach. The bow symbolizes the Archers in the 732nd OSS, while the single blue arrow represents the cutting edge support provided by the squadron to the operations group.

The blue arrow from the Archers’ bow is piercing through a black field leaving a red trail in its wake. The black field represents the unknown future of global combat, while the red area signifies the breaking of barriers to clear the way for combat operations. The four white arrows represent the continuous projection of force to the four corners of the world from the operation group into the unknown; a direct result of the Archers’ ability to be on target on time, every time.

Col. Julian Cheater, 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander, reinforced the significance of this milestone.

“There have been initiatives to activate the 732nd OSS since 2014, but we are seeing accelerated progress in the RPA community, and leaders like Lt. Col. Hector and Lt. Col. Robert are the perfect trailblazers to continue to build resiliency and redundancy into our base infrastructure as we approach dwell, which will better prepare our 432nd Hunters for near-peer conflicts,” said Cheater.

(*Editor’s Note* Some names were removed for security purposes.)