Squadron Revitalization at Lajes

by 65th Air Base Group Public Affairs Office

Col. Travis Leighton (left), 65th Air Base Group commander hands Lt. Col. Adam King the 65th Air Base Squadron guidon signifying the activation of the new squadron located at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal, June 13. The 65th ABS consolidated the functions of the deactivated units 65th Operations Support Squadron, 65th Communications Squadron and the 65th Security Forces Squadron.

LAJES FIELD, AZORES — In line with the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein’s squadron revitalization initiative, the 65th Air Base Group consolidated the 65th Communications Squadron, 65th Operations Squadron and the 65th Security Forces Squadron forming the 65th Air Base Squadron, June 13.
“The squadron is the beating heart of the United States Air Force; our most essential team,” Goldfein said in a letter to Airmen. “Our vision demands that squadrons be highly capable, expeditionary teams who can successfully defend our nation’s interests in both today’s and tomorrow’s complex operating environments.”
During the fall 2017 Corona, major commands were tasked to determine what constituted a “Healthy Squadron.” U.S. Air Forces in Europe noticed a natural break point of 75 or greater authorizations. It was determined that well- planned consolidations would provide the USAFE commander the means to enhance warfighting capabilities, expand leadership opportunities and prepare commanders for stronger leadership responsibility and depth.

Col. Travis Leighton, Lt. Col. William Soto, Lt. Col. Charles Barton, Maj. Richard Buckley and Lt. Col. Adam King salute the U.S. and Portuguese flags during the singing of the national anthems at the 65th Air Base Squadron activation ceremony located at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal, June 13.

In June 2018, the Secretary of the Air Force, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force signed the Squadron Revitalization Implementation Plan to smartly consolidate and/or reduce the number of squadrons in order to rebuild healthy organizations and repurpose manpower against highest priority missions and tasks.
“Consolidation of 65th ABG units provides healthier, more robust squadrons that are better able to support the movement of expeditionary forces to and from the fight,” said Col. Travis Leighton, 65th ABG commander.
The 65th ABG has been deliberately planning the consolidation and ensuring manpower authorizations from the inactivated units’ realignment into the 65th ABS. Overall authorizations and manning will continue at the same levels, there are no planned changes to those requirements. Any potential savings will be reinvested into higher priority missions.
Scheduled for the summer of 2019 is the consolidation of the 65th Civil Engineer Squadron, 65th Comptroller Flight, 65th Contracting Flight and 65th Force Support Flight to form the 765th Air Base Squadron.