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Laughlin makes history in forming 47th Force Support Squadron

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Maj. Thomas Ballard salutes for the first time as the commander of the newly-formed 47th Force Support Squadron as he presents the squadron to Col. Roger Thrasher, 47th Mission Support Group commander.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Sara Csurilla)

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Maj. Thomas Ballard salutes for the first time as the commander of the newly-formed 47th Force Support Squadron as he presents the squadron to Col. Roger Thrasher, 47th Mission Support Group commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Sara Csurilla)

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Members of the 47th Services Division and the 47th Mission Support Squadron merge to form the 47th Force Support Squadron.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Austin M. May)

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Members of the 47th Services Division and the 47th Mission Support Squadron merge to form the 47th Force Support Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Austin M. May)

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Laughlin notched another Air Force first, March 5, by being the first base in the Air Force to merge the 47th Mission Support Squadron and the 47th Services Division.

It took years worth of careful planning, extensive meetings, and hard work, to finally have the two squadrons merge.

"We must now take advantage of this opportunity and create a unified squadron that works together as a team...so the rest of the Air Force can more easily follow our lead," said Maj. Thomas C. Ballard, commander of the 47th Force Support Squadron.

The motivation to carry out the merger was not to be the first in the Air Force, but to support the 47th Flying Training Wing's reputation for cutting-edge innovation.

"Actions speak louder than words," said Maj. Ballard, "Many bases volunteered to merge; however, only one developed and submitted a full-blown organizational change request and detailed merger plan...and that is one of the main reasons why the Air Force selected us to be first."

Col. Roger Thrasher, commander of the 47th Mission Support Group said, he was a skeptic when he first heard about the merger between services and personnel, but after he thought of how these two functional specialties might merge, he realized he had it wrong.

"What both communities have in common is a focus on taking care of people," said Col. Thrasher.

Everyday the Services Squadron and the Mission Support Squadron, perform of a lot of work that keeps the base running smoothly.

"Both squadrons do so much for people...our Airmen; from helping them with financial issues, providing recreational activities on base, keeping up a library to study in, and even assisting in finding housing for them" said Col. Thrasher, "There is no greater charge than taking care of our people....our most important weapons system."