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Headquarters RIO activates

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- In a ceremony held at the Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center, Oct. 28, Headquarters Individual Reservist Readiness and Integration Organization was ceremonially activated and Col. Christopher E. Cronce formally assumed command.

The activation and assumption of command were the culmination of a 12-month transition of responsibility for the individual reserve from the Readiness Management Group, Robins AFB, to HQ RIO.

About 75 Airmen and invited guests attended. Special guests included State Representative Su Ryden, 36th Colorado Congressional District, and Col. John Wagner, commander of Buckley's 460th Space Wing. Additionally, HQ RIO detachment commanders, program managers and superintendents were present.

The ceremony was presided over by Brig. Gen. Samuel C. "Bo" Mahaney, HQ ARPC commander.

Gesturing to the encased HQ RIO flag at the side of the stage, Mahaney said, "There's a flag in there just waiting to come out... When we uncase it and unfurl it, it represents all of the hard work that has gone into establishing this organization."

Mahaney emphasized the fact that the whole point of activating the new organization is to ensure the individual reservist is taken care of.

"In the past, there was a little joke out there - Individual Mobilization Augmentee, I'M Alone - and that used to be a reality," he said. "But the RMG moved that ball down the road and HQ RIO is taking it further. They have a first sergeant, they have a chief, they have a commander. They have someone they can rely on, someone who is responsible for them."

Following Mahaney's speech, the HQ RIO flag was unfurled, the activation order was read and the general presented command of the new organization to Cronce.

After his assumption of command, Cronce praised the work of the RMG and RIO staff, saying he was both amazed and impressed by what has been completed since the transition of responsibility began. He thanked those who worked tirelessly, devoting a lot of thought, creativity, hard work and a lot of time, to getting HQ RIO up and running. He also cited the importance of the work of the RMG's final commander.

"Col. Dawn Wallace. Her leadership, her vision, were instrumental in where we are at today," he said. "She has a drive that is unbelievable and we have followed her plan throughout this transition."

The transition from the RMG to HQ RIO was a part of the Air Force's decision to consolidate as much personnel transactional work at ARPC as possible. However, some functions of IR management were unique to the RMG, thus HQ RIO was formed.

HQ RIO first opened its doors for business and began assuming the management of the individual reserve force, Feb. 1. The transition continued over the next several months, with the RMG inactivating at the end of September. Additionally, the 15 RMG detachments were restructured into seven detachments and eight geographically separated operating locations.

As the new organization matures, it will continue to evaluate and streamline processes, ensuring the Air Force has an efficient, well-equipped and battle-ready individual reserve force.

Cronce told the members of his new unit that it was important to take a moment and look to the future of the organization and the exciting times that lie ahead for it. He said there were three key things the organization had to keep in perspective as it grew.

"Flexibility, adaptability and responsiveness. These three concepts are, in my mind, critical to HQ RIO if we are going to be successful in our mission to seamlessly integrate war-time ready individual reserve forces to meet Air Force and combatant commander requirements," he said.
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