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110th Air Operations Group is now open

<b>Battle Creek ANGB</b> -- On April 1, 2009, the 110th Air Operations Group officially "stood up" at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base.

The 110th AOG uses a unique organizational structure to provide critical support to the 17th Air Force (AFAFRICA), which is the air component to US AFRICOM, the newest unified combatant command and based in Germany.

The 110th AOG's five squadrons encompass a wide array of career fields, combining medical, communications, logistics, operations and planning in a largely self-contained package.

The unit has an authorized strength of 302 Airmen consisting of 68 full-time and 234 traditional positions. While many members have transferred from the 110th Fighter Wing, others have come from as far away as Colorado to participate.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for the Air National Guard and Michigan to step forward and do a mission that is not conventional," said Lt. Col. Daniel Whipple, 110th Air Communications Squadron commander. "There are lots of challenges before us, but we are working through them."

One challenge facing the 110th AOG is space. It is currently based in Building 6910 and members are putting their improvisational skills to the test as the group takes shape while additional facilities are renovated. Having many key members training overseas with AFAFRICA only adds to the difficulty.

"We are continuing to build our relationship with the 17th Air Force," said Lt. Col. Doug Henry, deputy commander of the 110th Air Support Squadron. "We're also continuing to send people overseas. It is an exciting time for us and we're glad to be a part of it."