SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) --
Air Mobility Command hosted Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., as well as senior leaders from eight major commands, at Fall Phoenix Rally at Scott Air Force Base, Nov. 17, where a cohort of strategists and planners unveiled a winning scheme of maneuver that will position the joint force to win in a potential high-end fight.
The nearly 200 attendees, which included total force mobility command teams and spouses, also explored how air mobility is critical to joint integration and logistics in a contested environment. The theme of the presentations was clear: mobility is the primary consideration. AMC will be how the joint force gets to the fight and sustains the fight.
“The reason we’re here is to have a conversation,” said Gen. Mike Minihan, AMC commander. “We’ve had to do the intellectual pushups to deliver a winning scheme of maneuver for our Airmen to win. I hope it never happens, but if it does, it will be the worst decision the other side ever made. And it will be [the Mobility Air Forces] the joint force will look to.”
The command’s recently-completed competition campaign plan aligns its activities on the road to Mobility Guardian next summer along three lines of effort: deterring adversaries from aggression, assuring partners, and maximizing capabilities and readiness in order to close connectivity, survivability and agility gaps.
During his opening remarks, Brown commented on the significant accomplishments of AMC over the last year.
“When I think of all the things that have occurred … coming out of Afghanistan, bringing the KC-46 [Pegasus]online, all the support for Ukraine, and setting up for [exercise] Mobility Guardian – that’s a lot to get done in a year,” he said, also highlighting trusting and empowering Airmen as key to those successes.
Brown presented his top priorities for the Air Force, among which is the requirement for forces to be light, lean and agile in combat employment. Lt. Gen. James Jacobson, Pacific Air Forces deputy commander and rally attendee, put into perspective why that matters in the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility.
"Agile combat employment is the way the Air Force is going to generate and sustain power in the Pacific," he said. "We were happy to have General Minihan and his team with us at [our weapons and tactics conference] last week working on some key components and the challenges of aggregating airpower in a contested environment."
The rally included multiple guest speakers and presented a deliberate agenda focused on leveraging diversity, promoting a culture of dignity, and encouraging a Warrior Heart mentality – all with the goal of arming Airmen with the emotional resilience to be ready for the realities of a violent fight.
“Part of what these rallies are about is getting after resiliency model, or what we call Warrior Heart,” Minihan said. “That’s mind, body and craft – everything it takes to strap in and get after it. And then the other aspect is focusing on lethality – what mobility brings is the maneuver to concentrate capabilities and turn that into lethality.”
A break in the schedule allowed attendees to witness the historic presentation of a Distinguished Flying Cross to a Scott AFB Airman for her contributions to aeromedical evacuation during Operation Allies Refuge. Tech. Sgt. Katherine Rosa Orellana received the medal for her actions in response to a suicide bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport Aug. 26, 2021. Orellana was among the first to respond to the mass casualty, evacuating and saving the lives of 22 multinational and joint-service casualties, including five ventilated patients and multiple Afghan evacuees over an eight-hour period.
AMC’s presentation of the winning scheme of maneuver advances the command one step closer to Mobility Guardian 2023, a bi-annual exercise set to take place in the Pacific next year. This event set up the next rally as a milestone, which will include total force mobility Airmen as a standard going forward.
Speaking about the challenge ahead of AMC, Brown referenced the power of legacy, citing the experiences of “mobility legend” Lt. Gen. William Tunner, who conducted major airlift operations over the “Hump” during World War II.
“He talked about how Airmen understand and know how to compete,” Brown said about Tunner. “He was doing this in the Indo-Pacific. That’s where our focus is, and that’s where Mobility Guardian is going to be next year … We have to challenge ourselves, and we have to challenge the status quo. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow.”