Global Strike Command Adds New Job Type to Address Missileer Woes

The 20th Air Force of Global Strike Command recently announced that each of its strategic missile squadrons will get a new assistant director of operations, whose job will be to help junior airmen understand and implement the orders of command leaders.
National Journal
Rachel Oswald
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Rachel Oswald
July 2, 2014, 10:45 a.m.

After sev­er­al nuc­le­ar-sec­tor lapses, U.S. Air Force Glob­al Strike Com­mand is cre­at­ing a new po­s­i­tion de­signed as a con­duit between mis­sileers and com­mand­ers.

Each of the nine mis­sile squad­rons of the 20th Air Force will get its own as­sist­ant dir­ect­or of op­er­a­tions, or “ADOs,” be­fore sum­mer’s end, ac­cord­ing to a Tues­day com­mand press re­lease. The as­sist­ant dir­ect­or will be a middle-man­age­ment po­s­i­tion charged with sup­port­ing com­mand lead­er­ship in its ef­forts to dir­ect ju­ni­or nuc­le­ar per­son­nel re­spons­ible for main­tain­ing, op­er­at­ing and pro­tect­ing the coun­try’s ar­sen­al of Minute­man 3 in­ter­con­tin­ent­al bal­list­ic mis­siles.

Maj. Scott Flem­ing, who will be­come one of the first as­sist­ant dir­ect­ors of op­er­a­tions, said the de­cision to pri­or­it­ize cre­ation of the po­s­i­tion came out of the com­mand’s on­go­ing Force Im­prove­ment Pro­gram. The ini­ti­at­ive was launched in Feb­ru­ary to ad­dress a num­ber of pro­fes­sion­al­ism and mor­ale prob­lems with­in the nuc­le­ar mis­sileer force that were brought to light in the last year.

“I’m glad to see they are pur­su­ing this,” Flem­ing said in re­leased com­ments. “His­tor­ic­ally in the ICBM units, there has been a large gap between the lead­er­ship level and those pulling the duty out there in the field. If you look at the bomber units and most of the fly­ing units, it’s not quite set up that way. They have more mid-level man­age­ment and lead­er­ship from ADOs who are able to bridge that gap.”

Lt. Col. Steven Folds of the 20th Air Force said he was op­tim­ist­ic that the new op­er­a­tions of­ficers would be help­ful in trans­lat­ing the or­ders of com­mand­ers in­to a lan­guage that young per­son­nel in their first as­sign­ments and en­lis­ted crews could un­der­stand.

“They will also en­sure ap­pro­pri­ate train­ing is ac­com­plished for all crew mem­bers un­der their charge and will dir­ect ad­di­tion­al train­ing as those needs are iden­ti­fied,” he said.

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