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Rescue group, maintenance join 355th Fighter Wing

Col. Jason Pifer, left, 563d Rescue Group commander, and Col. Jennifer Short, 23d Wing commander, prepare to board a C-23 Sherpa prior to a high-altitude, low-opening jump, Sept. 27, 2018, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Nev. Effective 1 Oct., the 563d RQG and its associated maintenance squadrons will be realigned from the 23d WG to the 355th Fighter Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Col. Jason Pifer, left, 563d Rescue Group commander, and Col. Jennifer Short, 23d Wing commander, prepare to board a C-23 Sherpa prior to a high-altitude, low-opening jump, Sept. 27, 2018, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Nev. Effective 1 Oct., the 563d RQG and its associated maintenance squadrons will be realigned from the 23d WG to the 355th Fighter Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Col. Jennifer Short, front, 23d Wing commander, and Kirby Rodriguez, 563d Rescue Group instructor, prepare to land following a tandem jump, Sept. 27, 2018, over Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Nev. Effective 1 Oct., the 563d RQG and its associated maintenance squadrons will be realigned from the 23d WG to the 355th Fighter Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Col. Jennifer Short, front, 23d Wing commander, and Kirby Rodriguez, 563d Rescue Group instructor, prepare to land following a tandem jump, Sept. 27, 2018, over Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Nev. Effective 1 Oct., the 563d RQG and its associated maintenance squadrons will be realigned from the 23d WG to the 355th Fighter Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Col. Jennifer Short, 23d Wing commander, gives remarks during her final commander’s call to the 563d Rescue Group, Sept. 27, 2018, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Nev. Effective 1 Oct., the 563d RQG and its associated maintenance squadrons will be realigned from the 23d WG to the 355th Fighter Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Col. Jennifer Short, 23d Wing commander, gives remarks during her final commander’s call to the 563d Rescue Group, Sept. 27, 2018, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Nev. Effective 1 Oct., the 563d RQG and its associated maintenance squadrons will be realigned from the 23d WG to the 355th Fighter Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Lt. Col. Derek Cunningham, right, 563d Operations Support Squadron commander, Senior Airman Nicholas Moore, center, 563d OSS support staff, and Col. Jennifer Short, share a moment during Short’s last commander’s call to the 563d Rescue Group, Sept. 27, 2018, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Nev. Effective 1 Oct., the 563d RQG and its associated maintenance squadrons will be realigned from the 23d WG to the 355th Fighter Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Lt. Col. Derek Cunningham, right, 563d Operations Support Squadron commander, Senior Airman Nicholas Moore, center, 563d OSS support staff, and Col. Jennifer Short, share a moment during Short’s last commander’s call to the 563d Rescue Group, Sept. 27, 2018, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Nev. Effective 1 Oct., the 563d RQG and its associated maintenance squadrons will be realigned from the 23d WG to the 355th Fighter Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. --

The 563d Rescue Group, headquartered at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, and with units geographically separated at Nellis AFB, Nevada, will be realigned from the 23d Wing to the 355th Fighter Wing effective Oct. 1, 2018.

The group, its seven squadrons and associated maintenance squadrons have been assigned to the 23d Wing at Moody AFB, Georgia, since 2006 and will realign in order to resolve inefficiencies that come naturally when a unit is geographically separated.

Expected benefits include a more efficient command structure where senior leaders will be on-site as well as a bolstered training relationship between the rescue assets and the base’s fighter squadrons.

During her final commander’s call with Airmen from the group, Col. Jennifer Short, 23d Wing commander, explained how the move would impact the Airmen.

“The mission here isn’t changing. Honestly, for most of you, this realignment is a patch change. You’ll take off the Flying Tiger patch and you’ll wear the 355th patch. You guys are already a part of the base – they provide your medical, force support, civil engineers - you are a part of the 355th FW. Now we’re just making it formal.

“It’s a hard thing to do as your wing commander, but I want you to know how incredibly proud I am to have been your commander and to have served alongside each and every one of you. You’re an incredible group, you do amazing work and you’ll always have a special place in my heart.”

The units impacted by the realignment are the 48th, 55th, 58th, 66th, 68th, and 79th Rescue Squadrons as well as the 563d Operations Support Squadron. Additionally, the 823d and 923d Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons will be moved from the 23d Maintenance Group to the 355th MXG.