Maj Gen John Gordy
CMSgt Terrence Greene, AMC Command Chief, wears a virtual reality headset to view a training scenario created by TSgt Luis Gomez, 423d Mobility Training Squadron Aerial Port Expeditor (APEX) Course Director (left), at the Air Force Expeditionary Center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ, June 18, 2019. Gomez created the VR scenario to allow APEX students more time to practice aircraft loading functions. USAF photo by TSgt Ashley Hyatt
By MS. BRITTANY OLSON, Staff Writer
In August of 2018, Maj Gen John Gordy was assigned as Commander of the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center (USAF EC) at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ. Gordy is a master navigator with more than 4,700 flying hours in the C-130 E/H and T-43 aircraft. Prior to his assignment at the USAF EC, he served as the Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché to Turkey and as a wing and numbered Air Force vice commander.
The USAF EC is the U.S. Air Force’s center of excellence for Rapid Global Mobility and expeditionary Agile Combat Support training and education. The center has administrative control of five wings and two groups within the Air Mobility Command (AMC) and oversees the entire Global Air Mobility Support System (GAMSS). The USAF EC’s Expeditionary Operations School (EOS) graduates more than 40,000 Airmen annually and is often the final step in preparation for deployment.
The USAF EC plays a pivotal role in Full Spectrum Readiness for AMC, the U.S. Transportation Command, and all U.S. Air Force general purpose forces. Gordy defined Full Spectrum Readiness as “both a mindset and focus that the U.S. Air Force must maintain to ensure we are always ready to provide Rapid Global Mobility across the full range of military operations.” USAF Airmen are constantly exposed to unpredictable, ever-changing environments and it is the USAF EC’s responsibility to equip personnel with the training, skillsets, and knowledge necessary to complete the most demanding missions against any peer level threat.
“Everything we do contributes to the readiness of not just AMC, but to every Combatant Command and our bilateral and coalition partners. We provide direct oversight for the Global Air Mobility Support System, which provides our Nation with a truly worldwide, force-accelerating, power projection platform from which to respond. Our Contingency Response Forces are always ready to execute as AMC’s 9-1-1 on-call force, and our building partnership capacity mission sets enable readiness and interoperability with allied and partner nations,” explained Gordy.
Force Readiness drives AMC’s core mission of Rapid Global Mobility, and the USAF EC acts as the foundation of Rapid Global Mobility efforts as the center is responsible for training and developing America’s present and future Airmen. “Readiness is at the core of Rapid Global Mobility. The enterprise of assets and Airmen that AMC provides is designed and organized to project the right forces, anywhere in the world, at a time of our country’s choosing. In order to accomplish that mission, the USAF EC provides Airpower from the ground up,” said Gordy.
The training and mission support services provided by the USAF EC directly affect U.S. national security efforts and our nation’s ability to shape events around the world. The National Defense Strategy’s three priorities of 1) building a more lethal force, 2) strengthening alliances and attracting new partners, and 3) reforming the Department of Defense for greater performance and affordability all begin with the USAF EC’s training curriculum and mission support services. “Through the training we conduct for the Air Force, the Expeditionary Center helps build a more lethal force that can survive and operate in hostile regions. We also strengthen alliances and help form new partnerships through our Air Advisors who provide support in the SOUTHCOM [Southern Command] and AFRICOM [Africa Command] AORs [areas of responsibility],” stated Gordy.
The future of the USAF EC is driven by full spectrum readiness, which can only be achieved through continuous innovation and advanced training that prepares Airmen for the forthcoming fight. As a result, the EOS’s curriculum is constantly evolving to address new threats and optimize training effectiveness and relevancy for AMC and the Air Force. Future courses in the pipeline include the Advanced Logistics Readiness Officer Course, the RAVEN Program Manager Course, the Air Mobility Squadron Leadership Course, and the Landing Zone Safety Officer Course. From an innovation standpoint, the USAF EC is experimenting with new technologies to offer a more hands-on learning experience and make training as realistic to actual missions as possible. Currently, the EOS is gradually integrating virtual reality into its training curriculum, which will provide students with more flexibility and decrease the necessity for available aircraft or equipment. The USAF EC is also at the forefront of creating unparalleled, next-generation simulation devices to elevate the training experience for Air Combat and Global Strike Airmen. “Recently, the EOS partnered with Air Force Global Strike Command to benchmark AMC’s Mobility Air Force Maintenance Supervision and Production Course and developed the first-ever Global Strike Command [Bomber/E-4B] Aircraft Maintenance Supervision and Production Course. This was done using the EOS’s Aircraft Maintenance Production Simulator, and now the EOS is currently developing Fighter Aircraft and Missile/ICBM courses that will increase readiness for Air Combat Command and Global Strike Command Airmen,” said Gordy.