Ramstein activates AGOW during ceremony

by Capt. Megan Schafer
Ramstein Public Affairs

The stand up of U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s first wing solely dedicated to supporting battlefield Airmen took place during a ceremony Thursday on Ramstein.

The stand up of the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing marks the second of its kind for the Air Force and adds another volume to Team Ramstein’s growing legacy.

Two groups from the 86th Airlift Wing – the Contingency Response Group and the Air and Space Communications Group – along with the 4th Air Support Operations Group out of Heidelberg, Germany, now form the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing.

“This is a historic day for Ramstein and for USAFE,” said Col. Tom Gould, who took command of the 435th AGOW during the ceremony. “This new wing’s capability is certainly one of a kind. From calling in air strikes to opening bases, the capabilities this wing brings to the European and African theater is tremendous.”

The wing consolidates the tactical air control-party and battlefield weather specialties of the 4th ASOG, the contingency communications support of the ACOMG, and the expeditionary support to assess, prepare and operate airfields for air expeditionary forces of the CRG. Both of the groups from the 86th will now perform their mission under the 435th AGOW.

“The 435th AGOW provides these specialized Airmen with a single command and control structure,” Colonel Gould said. “By consolidating these units under one wing, we will be able to standardize our organizational processes and streamline how we train, equip and employ our battlefield Airmen.”

As part of the redesignation ceremony for the 435th AGOW, the 435th Air Base Wing was redesignated as the AGOW. The 431st Air Base Group was also officially deactivated during an earlier ceremony Thursday. The remaining mission areas of the 435th ABW will merge with the 86th Airlift Wing.

“Realigning our mission under one wing meets the Air Force chief of staff’s intent of structuring units by mission,” said Brig. Gen. Bill Bender, KMC commander.

“Our dual-wing team worked extremely well together – even garnering a dual ‘Excellent’ rating during our recent Unit Compliance Inspection. We look forward to continuing that great cohesion as we combine our efforts under one wing.”