Capt Natasha Cardinal, 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron critical care nurse, monitors her patient during a flight from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan to San Antonio, TX, Aug. 18, 2019. USAF photo by A1C Ryan Mancuso
By CMSGT TERRENCE GREENE, Command Chief of Air Mobility Command
The National Defense Strategy (NDS) drives how we do business here in Air Mobility Command (AMC). The NDS describes today’s strategic environment as one in which peer adversaries challenge American dominance in every domain. AMC’s mission as the “preeminent leader in rapid, large-scale mobility operations” is paramount to the NDS. The threat is real. Our strategic competitors increasingly develop capabilities that can deny or degrade our access and freedom of movement to which we have grown accustomed as a command. In response, AMC transitioned to a warfighting command that, according to Gen Miller’s intent, “is on a rapid and deliberate journey to seamlessly integrate into joint and coalition multi-domain operations in order to fight and win in every domain.”
Achieving this intent requires that we improve our readiness, acquire and modernize equipment and aircraft, and develop our force. These priorities are already at the forefront of the command’s collective mind. For example, Exercise MOBILITY GUARDIAN 2019 demonstrated our readiness to operate in a contested and expeditionary environment. I was impressed at how 4,000 of our Airmen worked with Joint and Coalition partners to make this exercise a stunning success with valuable learning objectives and integrated operations. Furthermore, in our continuing effort to acquire the most advanced weapon systems and equipment, we recently delivered our 19th KC-46 Pegasus to its new home, welcoming a new era of air refueling capability.
I have absolute confidence that we will overcome our adversaries and reinforce our decisive role in the NDS. I am confident we will succeed because of the incredible men and women of this command. It is our Air Mobility warriors who will lean in to the mission and endure long operational hours to project decisive strength across contested domains and deliver hope … always! It is their proven tenacity, innovation and warrior spirit to tackle any obstacle that gives me confidence in our command’s ability as a Total Force to underwrite the rapid global mobility needs called for in the NDS.
The exceptional Airmen of our command have always delivered hope to our brothers and sisters in arms. Nearly 47 years ago, our C-141 Starlifters airlifted 591 American POWs from Southeast Asia to the United States. It was not the aircraft nor the equipment, but the Airmen who made that mission a success. Today, we continue this mission of delivering hope. When one of our brothers or sisters is in need, we will stop at nothing to save a life, as evidenced by the recent 8,000 mile, 19 hour, non-stop aeromedical evacuation flight from Afghanistan to Texas.
Our modern-day Starlifter, the C-17 Globemaster III, was supported by two tankers and an 18-person medical team to transport a critically wounded service member to Brooke Army Medical Center. This remarkable mission could never have been accomplished without the dedication and support of Air Mobility warriors. My heartfelt appreciation, admiration, and thanks to the men, women, and families of Air Mobility Command.