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20th AMXS reorganizes to increase agility, readiness

Airmen assigned to the 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) stand at parade rest awaiting the reorganization of the squadron during a squadron stand-up ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Feb. 24, 2020.

Airmen assigned to the 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) stand at parade rest awaiting the reorganization of the squadron during a squadron stand-up ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Feb. 24, 2020. The 20th AMXS was divided into three fighter generation squadrons to better align with the fighter squadrons they support. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Destinee Sweeney)

The 20th Force Support Squadron honor guard hoists the colors while the national anthem plays during a squadron stand-up ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Feb. 24, 2020.

The 20th Force Support Squadron honor guard hoists the colors while the national anthem plays during a squadron stand-up ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Feb. 24, 2020. The ceremony divided the 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, which contained nearly a thousand Airmen, into three separate squadrons to increase the squadron’s capabilities and provide the Airmen with more access to their commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Destinee Sweeney)

U.S. Air Force Col. George Sebren, 20th Maintenance Group commander, provides remarks during a squadron stand-up ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Feb. 24, 2020.

U.S. Air Force Col. George Sebren, 20th Maintenance Group commander, provides remarks during a squadron stand-up ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Feb. 24, 2020. During the ceremony, the 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron stood in formation awaiting the new fighter generation squadron commanders who arrived and took command of their new units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Destinee Sweeney)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --

Some things never change, but the 20th Fighter Wing is not one of them. As the Air Force works to bring the future faster and develop innovative new ways to increase the agility and lethality of its people, units and tactics, so does its premier suppression of enemy air defenses wing.

The 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron was reorganized into three separate squadrons, with Maj. Stephanie July, Maj. Claire Vazquez and Maj. Evin Greensfelder taking command of the 55th, 77th and 79th Fighter Generation Squadrons, respectively, Feb. 25.

“In the last few years America has been obsessed with who is the first at something or that something was accomplished first by some group,” said Col. George Sebren, 20th Maintenance Group commander. “While there is some importance to that and while it may be interesting, what is truly compelling is, ‘Was that thing done well?’ In our Air Force what is truly compelling and what really matters is, ‘Can the team accomplish the mission effectively and efficiently?’”

Previously, the 20th AMXS was divided internally into three aircraft maintenance units each assigned to support one of the fighter squadrons. Prior to taking command, the FGS commanders were each deputy officers from various units on base.

“Air Combat Command will now have a better picture of our overall readiness,” said 1st Lt. Will Smith, 77th Fighter Generation Squadron sortie generation flight commander.

According to Smith, this separation will allow Air Force leadership to have a better view of what each of the units needs in terms of manning and equipment to support their sister fighter squadron, as opposed to seeing one large squadron.

At the beginning of 2019, the 20th AMXS underwent a combat-oriented maintenance organization which brought many shops into the squadron such as phase, plans and analysis, and scheduling to allow the squadron to get out the door faster when tasked.

The COMO and the FGS reorganization are both part of an ongoing process to create more self-sufficient, agile units to support the 20th FW’s mission downrange.

“Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, is doing a test bed integrating maintenance back into the ops squadron,” said Smith. “Shaw’s been given permission to not join the ops squadron, but to do this reorg to align with ops.”

Due to the restructuring, each of the units will receive more personnel to improve their capabilities including their own support staff and training managers.

Smith said this will increase the number of individuals in the sortie support flight, allowing younger officers arriving from smaller shops to have a better transitioning point before they take over the larger generation flight.

“I’m absolutely excited about it,” said Smith. “(I’m excited) to have our own commander in-house and to have a commander’s support staff right here instead of having to go to another building to get things fixed. I think there will be a lot of time saved and a lot more face-to-face conversations versus telephone or e-mail where communication can break down or get lost.”

The commander will also be able to focus on unit-specific matters such as deployments and exercises, said Smith, and will be able to travel with the units to lead on location.

“Don’t dwell on being first, dwell on being the best,” advised Sebren to the incoming commanders. “Don’t dwell on being a woman in command, dwell on being a commander who is effective in leading your Airmen to accomplish the mission.”