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Yokota mission essential for global reach

Gen. Duncan J. McNabb, Air Mobility Command commander, coins Senior Airman David Hagan, 730th Air Mobility Squadron ramp services technician, during his visit at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 16. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Brian Kimball)

Gen. Duncan J. McNabb, Air Mobility Command commander, coins Senior Airman David Hagan, 730th Air Mobility Squadron ramp services technician, during his visit at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 16. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Brian Kimball)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan (AFPN) -- The commander of Air Mobility Command recently met with the men and women of the 730th Air Mobility Squadron and other senior officials.

As part of a nine-day tour of air mobility operations across the Pacific region last week, Gen. Duncan J. McNabb hosted a commander's call, toured the AMC passenger terminal, freight terminal and maintenance facilities. He also hosted breakfast and lunch meetings with Airmen of the 730th AMS.

During an interview with American Forces Network here, the general discussed the purpose of his visit and described the importance of the AMC mission.

"The primary reason I'm here is to say 'thank you' for the great work our Airmen are doing here in the 730th Air Mobility Squadron and at Yokota Air Base," General McNabb said. "When you think about the Pacific Rim and about its importance to our country -- whether it's our ability to extend a hand of friendship to our great allies and friends, but also if we have to undertake combat operations -- our ability to come through Yokota becomes absolutely essential."

The general further discussed the importance of global airlift. "When you think about Air Mobility Command giving our country its strategic ability to move, it is in fact, one of the crown jewels of our nation's Department of Defense, and our military capabilities," General McNabb said.

He described AMC's contribution to operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

"We're are executing roughly 900 sorties per day in support of the global war on terrorism. That equates to a takeoff and landing every 90 seconds, day-in and day-out. And those gray tails with the American flag not only represent America, but to the people around the world, they are America."

The general highlighted another key AMC initiative as well.

"We've completely changed our aeromedical evacuation system," the general said. "We used to have dedicated aircraft, but now have patient support pallets that can be configured for any of our aircraft."

"As a result, we've dramatically sped up the ability to get patients back to the proper medical facility to save a life or a limb," he said. "It has made a huge difference. For example, in Vietnam it took about 40 days, during Desert Shield/Desert Storm it took 10, and today, it averages about three days. We can also do critical care in the air, allowing us greater capability to transport patients."

"Air Mobility Command puts the 'Global' in Global Reach, Power and Vigilance," he said. "Our ability to move around the world is unprecedented and unmatched ... It allows our country to change the flow of events."

When asked about the highlights of his visit to Yokota, the general said, "Seeing the Airmen of the 730th up close and personal, seeing what they do and the great esprit they have, how important they take their mission, and mostly, to tell them thank you for what they do for our country."

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