Altus becomes fourth base to merge services and mission support squadrons Published May 6, 2008 By Michael Fletcher 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The 97th Mission Support and 97th Services Squadron formally merged in a ceremony Monday to become the 97th Force Support Squadron. The new organization is the result of an ongoing Air Force-wide merger of mission support and services squadrons. The new squadron includes five flights: force development, manpower and personnel, Airmen and family services, sustainment services and community services. The new structure combines similar functional areas that already work closely together. For example, the sustainment services flight contains the food operations, fitness and wellness, and lodging branches. "Six bases have tested variants of the merged squadron concept that has now been finalized," said Col. Keith Moncrief, 97th Mission Support Group commander. Colonel Moncrief noted that Altus is only the fourth Air Force Base to implement the merger. The Air Force-wide implementation will not be complete until 2010. "This is basically a behind-the-scenes change and should appear transparent to most Airmen here," said Michael Coltrin, deputy director of the 97th FSS. "If someone needs to go get an ID card or go to the Airman's Attic, in most cases, that person will still go to the same location they're familiar with today. We will be doing extensive publicity on the changes in locations and phone numbers that do result from this new Force Support Squadron. What we'll have, however, is a more effective force structure in place to better support our Airmen in the long run," Mr. Coltrin said. Lt. Col. Henry L. Moton assumed command of the 97th FSS as he accepted the unit flag from Colonel Moncrief. Colonel Moton comes to Altus from an assignment as the Air Force's executive officer, Directorate of Manpower and Personnel, at the Pentagon. He is a few credits away from his doctorate degree in organizational human resource management and has the experience of several leadership assignments in personnel and wartime manpower requirements.