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News > New Active Duty squadron joins ranks with Colorado Springs-based AF Reserve C-130 wing
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 Colonel Ortiz: 'Combat 'Roos are back in the fight!'
 Squadron to bring approximately 180 aircrew and maintainers to Colorado
 New C-130 Hercules unit brings AF Reserve's 302nd AW and Active Duty 19th AW together under Total Force Integration
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New Active Duty squadron activates with AF Reserve
Lt. Col. Carlos Ortiz (right) takes hold of the recently-unsheathed 52nd Airlift Squadron guidon from Col. David Kasberg during an activation and assumption of command ceremony Oct. 3 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Colonel Ortiz became the first commander of the squadron since its inactivation in September 1997. The 52nd AS will work side-by-side with Airmen of the Air Force Reserve's 302nd Airlift Wing, already based at Peterson. Colonel Kasberg is the 19th Operations Group commander, based at Little Rock AFB, Ark. (U.S Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Daniel Butterfield)
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New Active Duty squadron joins ranks with Colorado Springs-based AF Reserve C-130 wing

Posted 10/4/2009   Updated 10/4/2009 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Butterfield
302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

10/4/2009 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- A second flying squadron joined the Colorado Springs-based 302nd Airlift Wing Oct. 3, which will bring approximately 180 aircrew and maintainers to Colorado through 2012, kicking off the Air Force's newest active association between the Air Force Reserve and its Active Duty counterpart. 

The activation of the new C-130 Hercules squadron brings both the AF Reserve's 302nd AW and the Active Duty 19th AW together under Total Force Integration initiative. Known as TFI, the Integration is expected to increase the 302nd AW's already-busy flying schedule by an estimated 25 percent. 

Lt. Col. Carlos Ortiz took the reins of the re-activated 52nd Airlift Squadron during the day's events. The lieutenant colonel takes over a tactical airlift squadron that last saw action in September 1997 when it was inactivated at Moody AFB in Georgia. In late summer 2009, Active Duty Airmen began integrating with the 302nd AW, setting the stage for the new squadron's activation. 

Addressing a crowd of more than 400, Colonel Ortiz, a C-130 senior navigator and native of Pojoaque, N.M., said he looked forward to serving the men and women of both the 52nd AS and the 302nd AW. 

"To the men and women of the 52nd Airlift Squadron; thank you for your amazing energy, leadership, creativity and effort in establishing the framework in what now will become the new 52nd Airlift Squadron as we work with the men and women of the 302nd Airlift Wing to create something much better than the sum of its parts," said Colonel Ortiz. "I look forward to serving you as we continue to build the 52nd into what I'm certain will become a model that others will want to emulate. Combat 'Roos are back in the fight!" 

Col. David Kasberg, the ceremony's presiding officer and19th Operations Group commander, based at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., stressed how uncommon, but important the ceremony was. 

"Reactivations are a fairly rare occurrence in the military," Colonel Kasberg said "They have more strategic implication and importance than deactivation. They are a visible sign of an increase in capability which directly translates into increased support for the warfighter and to the war fighting commanders and increased security at home. Here at Peterson this directly translates into better utilization of the mighty venerable C-130 Hercules." 

Colonel Kasberg said Colonel Ortiz is the right man for the challenge. "How do you insure success? Simple; you find someone like Lieutenant Colonel Ortiz. The 52nd (Airlift Squadron) is in great hands." 

Asked earlier this summer about what TFI will bring to the Air Force and national defense overall, Col. Jay Pittman, 302nd AW commander, said TFI is about "efficiencies." 

"The Active Duty Airmen coming to Colorado will fly and maintain (302nd AW) C-130s right alongside our Reserve Airmen," he said. "The Air Force has a need to make more efficient use of aircraft available and the 302nd AW is part of that equation." 

That equation leads to the wing's 12 assigned C-130H3s being maintained by both the AF Reserve and Active Duty Airmen working in blended teams and maintenance back shops. This teamwork is expected to increase the already busy seven-days a week flying schedule as the Active Duty aircrews taking to the sky in the coming months. 

While there will be challenges with the integration, Colonel Ortiz believes the two groups will be stronger together. "The experience and superior skill levels of the men and women of the 302nd Airlift Wing offers Active Duty crew members, maintainers and support professionals the opportunity to model a mature form of professionalism that simply can't be trained," he said. "Our commitment to you, as we work together to accomplish this change in the Air Force mission, the men and women of the 52nd Airlift Squadron will respect and appreciate your culture, the wisdom inherent in your experience, your processes, your facilities and airplanes."

Stay with www.302aw.afrc.af.mil for the latest news and information.

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