According to Pacific Air Forces, the transfer of the 1st Air Support Operations Group, based at Ft. Lewis, Wash., from Air Combat Command to PACAF has not slowed the battlefield airmen unit in the slightest. The unit switched last fall and, in the process, picked up three new squadrons, giving it a total of five squadrons and four detachments. The primary mission of the 1st ASOG is to support Pacific-region Army units, so realigning it under PACAF’s 13th Air Force was not only logical, but also provided PACAF “with a range of skill sets that can be used to support anything from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations at one end of the spectrum all the way to major theater of war operations,” said Lt. Col. Shaun Copelin, 1st ASOG deputy commander. Among the group’s airmen are air liaison officers, tactical air control party airmen, and battlefield and staff weather teams. (13th AF report by TSgt. Kerry Jackson)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.