New Weather Wing to fall under 12 AF
By Ryan Hansen, 55th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 17, 2015
OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- The Air Force Weather Agency will be officially re-designated as the 557th Weather Wing.
The change comes as a result of an Air Force organization management headquarters review announced last fall that reorganized the structure and processes for a number of units.
"We have been working on this hard since the announcement and are excited to make this official, "said U.S. Air Force Col. William Carle, AFWA commander. "The 557th Weather Wing will stand alone as the Air Force's premier weather wing, providing world-class weather support and decision superiority to commanders and warfighters to win today's and tomorrow's fight."
"With over 1,700 Airmen, we'll now be home to the Air Force's largest single weather organization," he added. "This transition to an operational wing will allow us to be more ops-focused and responsive to the Air Force, Army, and Joint warfighters needs."
Structurally, AFWA's units, the 1st Weather Group and 2d Weather Group, will continue to be aligned under the 557th WW, while the headquarters staff will undergo some restructuring. The 557th WW will report directly to 12th Air Force under Air Combat Command.
The 1st WXG will see its overall manning increase by roughly 400 as they inherit the 17th, 21st and 28th Operational Weather Squadrons.
"The 1st Weather Group will oversee six regionally-focused Operational Weather Squadrons, whose forecasts and warnings support both garrison and deployed operations around the globe," said U.S. Air Force Col. David Bacot, AFWA vice commander. "We are focused on a transition that will be seamless to those we support, wherever they may be in the world."
AFWA traces its heritage back to a meteorological service unit in the Army Signal Corps during World War I. Their official lineage began in 1943 with the activation of the Army Air Forces Weather Wing in Asheville, N.C.
Since 1991, the unit has reported directly to the Air Force Director of Weather at the Pentagon, when it was known as the Air Weather Service, located at Scott AFB. In 1997, AWS was re-designated as AFWA, which also merged the mission of Air Force Global Weather Center at Offutt.
"We have an incredible history and we are adding to that legacy every single day," Carle said. "The information we provide is used on a daily basis by decision makers across the Department of Defense and that is something that will never change."
The re-designated unit's new emblem is borrowed from its forbearer. It will look the same as AFWA's, but with one noticeable change. The verbiage at the bottom will now read, "Coelum Ad Prelium Elige," which is Latin for, "Choose the Weather for Battle."
"That was part of the original weather wing, from which we hail," Bacot said. "We're very proud of our heritage and are excited to bring that back."
"Supporting Airmen and Soldiers operating in the air and on the ground is our focus, and supplying the high-quality environmental intelligence they have come to expect is our motivation," Carle said.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Nowland, 12th Air Force commander (Air Forces Southern), will be the presiding official at the re-designation ceremony on March 27 at 10 a.m. outside the Lt. Gen. Thomas S. Moorman building.