Public Affairs recently sat down with Col. Bryan Cook, 419th Operations Group commander, to discuss Total Force Enterprise and its impact on mission readiness.
What is Total Force Enterprise?
TFE is the combination of Air Force Reserve and active duty assets and manpower combined functionally for a common goal: combat airpower for the nation.
When we met with Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donnelly during his visit here recently, one of his concerns is right-sizing the force: regular Air Force, Guard and Reserve. How do we balance all these organizations and wings around the world so we realize cost savings for the taxpayer and DoD, while maintaining a fighting force that meets combatant commanders' requirements? TFE is one step in that direction.
I believe TFE will find its way into every active duty, Guard and Reserve unit in some form or another. There will be classic associate, active associate and other forms of associates in units across the United States. Retaining highly skilled/trained Airman in the Reserve and Guard provide a cost savings for the Air Force, DoD and the nation. TFE is not going away anytime soon; if anything, it's going to get bigger.
How is TFE working in the 388th and 419th Operations Groups?
We've functionally integrated at all levels in the operations group. Col. Nathan Hill, 388th Operations Group commander, owns operational direction for the day-to-day operation of our two groups. When Col. Hill is away, the operational direction is picked up by the 419th Operations Group commander, and that has taken effect all the way to the lowest levels. For instance, we have Reserve captains and majors running fully integrated shops.
How is the 419th key to TFE?
TFE's a balancing act and we strive to incorporate the best practices of both wings. 419th pilots have extremely high experience levels and our personnel offer stability and familiarity. There's a benefit realized with retaining that capability and a cost savings that comes with it.
Relevance is the 419th Airman doing the day-to-day missions alongside our active duty brethren. Relevance is the 419th Airman ready to go to war with our 388th partners. No other place in AFRC is that relevance more important than here at Hill AFB. If we get tasked to go to war tomorrow, it's the 388th and 419th together. "Team Hill: one mission" is our stance, and we are in this together.