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​Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Defense in Washington, D.C., Feb. 10, 2016. Air Force photo by Scott M. Ash.

The Air Force will test a new Total Force organizational construct called the “integrated wing,” or I-Wing, later this year, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel on Wednesday. The I-Wing, which will be located at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., is “designed to leverage the strengths of each component, reduce organizational redundancy, and meet mission demands more efficiently,” James said. The first I-Wing will be Air Force Reserve’s 916th Air Refueling Wing, but if the organizational construct is effective, the Air Force will “look to apply it more broadly in the future,” James said. The concept evolved from the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force Review and is expected to reach initial operational capability in Fiscal 2017, according to a release. “We are excited about this opportunity to test our highly successful active association at the 916th [Air Refueling Wing] with a new integrated wing model,” said Lt. Gen. James Jackson, the chief of Air Force Reserve. “This pilot program will determine whether additional synergies can be garnered at this unit during the test and whether any lessons learned are repeatable at other locations in the Air Force.” (James prepared testimony.)