Time to Rebuild the Squadrons

The Air Force needs to revitalize its squadrons because their cohesion has been inadvertently picked apart through years of wartime deployments. This has long-standing repercussions for the force, as squadrons are the service’s organizational building block, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said in a June 17 interview with Air Force Magazine. “The squadron is the foundational unit of our Air Force,” Welsh said. “It is the fighting unit of our Air Force.” Nonstop combat deployments to myriad locations—combined with a shrinking manpower pool and inconsistent demands between various specialties—have damaged squadron cohesion and unity, he said. This matters because airmen derive much of their “pride, morale, legacy, [and] focus on heritage, the profession of arms, taking care of individuals and families,” through their relations with their squadrons, he said. “The squadrons have to work,” and getting a sense of normalcy back is going to be a long term focus.