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AMC commander: Mobility Airmen play vital role in joint operations

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -- The commander of Air Mobility Command presented AMC’s role in joint operations as a vital part of national security and as an example of the ‘wingman concept’ in a presentation during the AMC Headquarters staff Wingman Day event here Feb. 8, 2017.

Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, the AMC commander, highlighted AMC’s purpose in joint operations through recent examples of headline-making global mobility missions.

“AMC is the ultimate wingman to our joint partners,” Everhart said. “Whether we’re delivering beans and bullets, fuel at 25,000 feet, setting up a bare base at forward locations or bringing wounded to life-saving care … we deliver.”

Some Airmen may not realize AMC crews are airdropping supplies in Syria, said the general. In November an Iraqi C-130 landed at Qayyarah West Airfield, Iraq, which was the first time a fixed-wing aircraft touched down at the field since 2014 thanks to the Airmen from the 821st Contingency Response Group at Travis Air Force Base, California, and a team of coalition engineers who refurbished the field after Islamic State of Iraq and Syria forces destroyed it.

Wingmen are known for providing relief and support to those in need, partnering with others to signal resolve, values and a commitment to helping others.

The Denton Program allows humanitarian supplies to be flown aboard a U.S. Air Force aircraft on a space available basis. In January, a nonprofit organization donated 35 pallets containing 275,000 dehydrated meals, valued at $85,000, for the refugees and the command delivered yet again.

“Airmen from the 315th Airlift Wing at (Joint Base) Charleston, (South Carolina), flew humanitarian aid to Ramstein (Air Base, Germany), last month,” Everhart said. “The food was delivered to refugee camps and is now feeding thousands of displaced men, women and children. We were their wingmen and they didn’t even know it.”

Meanwhile, AMC tankers were playing a vital global role for nine combatant commanders.

Fifteen AMC tankers refueled two B-2 Spirits on a 30-hour roundtrip mission to bomb ISIS camps in Libya, and four KC-10 Extenders from Travis AFB, and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, enabled the F-35A Lightning II exercise deployment to Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni, Japan. U.S. tankers have partnered with coalition aircraft to fly more than 33,000 missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

“Sometimes diplomacy and deterrence fail and when that happens our civilian leaders make the decision to send America’s sons and daughters into harm’s way,” Everhart said. “We take them to fight, and we also bring them home. I take my role as a wingman seriously every day. Our Airmen are why I serve.”

Everhart showed a video of wounded warriors who completed in the 2016 Invictus Games, highlighting the impact of Airmen who inspire him. Each individual shared a special thank you message for AMC and the aeromedical evacuation mission, providing examples of relief and hope delivered by their wingmen.

In addition to those personal messages, the general left the audience with one final thank you from the perspective of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein.

“Airpower is the oxygen the joint force breathes,” Everhart said, quoting Goldfein. “Mobility is the lifeblood that carries the oxygen.”

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