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316th WG activation completes AFDW

ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. -- The 316th Wing became a part of the Air Force District of Washington when the wing was formally activated during a ceremony at Andrews AFB June 22. AFDW, headquartered here, is commanded by Maj. Gen. Robert L. Smolen and includes the 79th Medical Wing, headquartered at Andrews, and the 11th Wing and newly redesignated Air Force Pentagon Communications Agency, which are located on Bolling.

The mission of the 316th Wing has three equal components: to provide emergency rotary-wing airlift and other essential capabilities; provide combat-ready Airmen to Air and Space Expeditionary Forces; and to provide a secure and robust infrastructure to support base organizations.

Col. Paul Ackerley is the 316th Wing and installation commander. The wing staff includes the 316th Comptroller Squadron, Antiterrorism/Force Protection, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Manpower and Organization, Historian, Judge Advocate, Protocol, Command Post, Plans and Programs, Public Affairs, Chaplain, Inspector General, Military Equal Opportunity, Equal Employment Opportunity and Safety.

Additionally, the wing consists of the 316th Operations Group and the 316th Mission Support Group.

The 316 OG includes the 316th Operations Support Squadron and the 1st Helicopter Squadron. The 316th Civil Engineer Squadron, 316th Mission Support Squadron, 316th Security Forces Squadron, 316th Logistics Readiness Squadron, 316th Contracting Squadron and 316th Services Squadron are under the 316 MSG. During certain peacetime and contingency operations, the AFDW staff becomes Air Force National Capital Region under the command of General Smolen and falls under the Joint Force Headquarters-NCR.

Other components to the JFHQ-NCR are the Army Military District of Washington, Naval District of Washington, Marine Corps National Capital Region; and the Coast Guard. U.S. Northern Command is the parent command of the JFHQ-NCR, said Col. Jennifer L. Hesterman, 316 WG vice commander.

The addition of the 316th Wing increases the variety of resources available for AFDW to successfully execute their peacetime and wartime NCR tasking. "This allows a single commander to allocate manpower, equipment and capability in the defense of Washington, and the protection of our president and all of our national assets in the NCR," she added.