RAF ALCONBURY, England --
The Pathfinder command team marked the future transition of the 501st Combat Support Wing headquarters from RAF Alconbury to RAF Fairford with a ribbon cutting ceremony at RAF Fairford, England, Dec. 6, 2022.
The ceremony took place in front of building two, which will be the new headquarters for the U.S. Air Force’s sole combat support wing.
“There is a lot of work that’s going into relocating the headquarters and I’m incredibly appreciative of everyone who’s had part in making this a success,” said Col. Brian Filler, 501st Combat Support Wing commander. “The eventual relocation will integrate a vital echelon of command in order to support flying operations at Fairford.
“It’s important we’re positioned to effectively carry out our mission and this move gives us the proximity required to do that.”
With the move, the wing is postured to support the full spectrum of flying operations and to strengthen its command-and-control capability from a strategic location.
“This is a monumental move for the wing and allows us to align with our authorities,” said Senior Master Sgt. Joshua Hinsey, 501st Combat Support Wing commander’s action group superintendent. “It's a step in the right direction to get the wing structured appropriately.”
“As a combat support wing we’ve done some amazing things to support the war-fighting mission. This move to Fairford is going to allow us to expand and grow to a more suitable size to support the complete mission that we’re held responsible for.”
Some 501st Combat Support Wing command team and wing staff agency personnel are anticipated to move from Alconbury and Croughton to Fairford starting this summer. The migration will affect approximately 30 personnel and their families.
“The intention is to activate the wing headquarters at Fairford this summer in conjunction with the change of command,” said Hinsey. “It will be a long-term process, with the first step striving to appropriately staff Fairford. It is essential to strike the right balance between the quality of life for our individuals and our mission needs.”
Despite the wing headquarters moving to a different location, the overall Pathfinder mission will remain the same. Further, the 501st and its subordinate units will continue to operate from all of the same locations within England or Norway.
“The move won’t change how our units execute the mission or the relationships we share with our UK partners across England; the only significant change will be where the wing’s command team is located,” said Filler. “We will execute the phases of this move methodically and in a way that mitigates any potential adverse impact to our Airmen and families. This is an important day for the 501st, our mission, and our Airmen and we thank everyone who had a hand in the complete renovation of this critical headquarters building.”