Andersen is No Sleepy Hollow

The decision to permanently assign personnel at Andersen AFB, Guam, to support the Air Force’s continuous bomber presence mission first came from suggestions made through the Force Improvement Program, said officials. Air Force Global Strike Command sent a three-man tiger team to Andersen in early November 2014, which was specifically tasked with determining what a detachment could and would look like if established, Maj. Michelle Willison, the lead tiger team member, told Air Force Magazine. “The biggest takeaway we heard … is that for many, many years Guam was a sleep hollow. Not much really went on in Guam, but that’s no longer the case,” said Willison. “They have an exercise every month, they have Cope North annually that brings in almost 2,200 personnel, they have Valiant Shield, that’s a biannual exercise that brings in almost 3,200 personnel. They [also] support … CBP, the tanker task force, Global Hawks, AMC transient aircraft, sister services, and allied aircraft.” Because of the change in op tempo, the maintenance and operations personnel are “just stretched so thin,” she added. To make the issue even more challenging, Guam “doesn’t earn billets because they don’t have permanently assigned aircraft.” In addition to setting up a detachment to support the continuous bomber presence, Willison said the team recommended Pacific Air Forces conduct a new manning study for Guam. “They desperately need a new one because there are so many different exercises and aircraft that they support,” she said. The last manning study was done in 2008, she said.