AFGSC Stands Up New Helicopter Group

The 582nd Helicopter Group—the first helicopter group in the Air Force—officially stood up March 27 during a ceremony at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., according to a base release. The group will take over the 37th, 40th, and 54th Helicopter Squadrons, as well as the newly established 582nd Operations Support Squadron. It was recommended as part of Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Improvement Program to standardize the helicopter mission at all three missile wings. “One of the major reasons for this change was to put helicopter leadership over the helicopter operators,” said Lt. Col. James Blanchard, 582nd OSS commander, in the release. Before the helicopter squadrons, and their respective wings, were managed by the operations groups at each of the missile bases. “It’s difficult when you have organizations that are in three different locations and [have] no organization that really provided the standardizing between the three units,” said Blanchard. 582nd HG Commander Col. Dave Smith said discipline, stewardship, and collaboration will carry the group forward. “The Discipline I’m referring to is the discipline to commit to the warrior ethos … We are not crewmembers temporarily assigned to the ICBM mission, we are nuclear security experts and we will accomplish our mission more effectively and more efficiently while reducing risk,” said Smith. “Additionally, we must continue to break out of our stove pipes and integrate with our security forces teammates that we support.”