NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (AFNS) --
Throughout the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference, Sept. 16-18, in National Harbor, Maryland, defense and Air Force leaders spoke about the need for change as the Department of Defense focuses its attention on great power competition at the direction of the 2018 National Defense Strategy.
Addressing a room of Airmen, reporters and defense researchers, Gen. Maryanne Miller, Air Mobility Command commander, explained how her command is adapting to meet the demands outlined by the strategy.
“The operational environment is changing and mobility forces must evolve with it,” she began. “That’s why, over the past year, Air Mobility Command has transformed into a warfighting component command.”
Miller explained that like U.S. Air Forces Central Command, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Pacific Air Forces, AMC has become a joint and combined forces air component command, restructured to provide direct coordinating authority for more effective command and control of mobility forces.
“Through this transformation, we’re more responsive to the combatant commands and we’re able to better position our mobility forces to compete, deter and win with speed and agility,” Miller said.
In line with this transition into a warfighting command, Miller told the audience AMC is preparing for full-spectrum conflict through large-scale exercises like Mobility Guardian 2019, currently taking place in the Pacific Northwest from Sept. 8-28. The exercise is designed to test the command’s capabilities in a contested, degraded and operationally-limited environment.
“As we speak, more than 2,500 Total Force Airmen are deployed to locations throughout Washington State, participating in our command’s premier exercise,” she said. “They are joined by 1,500 joint and international partners to validate our transformation efforts and ability to conduct mobility operations against the threats identified in our National Defense Strategy.”
Miller explained that as AMC’s premier exercise and largest full-spectrum readiness exercise to date, Mobility Guardian 2019 helps test the nation’s ability to conduct rapid global mobility operations, including her command’s four core competencies of airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and global air mobility support. Additionally, she added that exercise participants have honed their skills at executing forcible entry, airfield seizure, strategic deterrence and humanitarian relief operations.
“It is imperative that we outpace our adversaries and best position the mobility air forces to defeat the threats of tomorrow,” Miller said. “The world has changed and through our transformation efforts, AMC has adapted to meet the growing requirements and accelerated global demands. As a more agile organization, we have increased our ability to fully leverage the full complement of our mobility resources.”