AMC Commander reflects on his first year

Gen. Darren McDew

Gen. Darren McDew

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- To the men and women of Air Mobility Command, I can't thank you and your families enough for the hard work and sacrifices that you make each day. You are an unrivaled, Total Force team - active duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian Airmen - and you make rapid global mobility a reality.

In the year since I took command, I've truly been impressed by what I've seen.
Since May 5th of last year, I have challenged every one of you to lead boldly, to take the initiative and to make a difference. You have surpassed my expectations by leaps and bounds. Your phenomenal dedication and commitment to excellence propels Air Mobility Command, our Air Force and our Nation.

You supported combat operations across the Southwest Asia while providing desperately needed humanitarian relief to those trapped on Mount Sinjar in Iraq and recently to citizens of Nepal. Our capabilities have been vital in the fight against ISIL in Operation Inherent Resolve. It was the Total Force mobility effort that brought home our fellow soldiers, sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen from Operation Enduring Freedom while simultaneously delivering medical teams and supplies to help stop the spread of Ebola.

When America depends on rapid global mobility - from the President of the United States to a wounded warrior requiring immediate movement to critical care - our nation turns to you for the unquestioned global reach that is known around the world. You are my heroes and this command's most valued resource.

You have honed a cutting-edge ability to put the 'global' in Global Vigilance, Global Reach and Global Power. That's only possible because of your ideas and innovation - and we must continue to tap into that to adapt to new challenges. With those future challenges in mind, one of my focus areas for the next year is further developing and empowering Airmen to be bold, innovative Air Force leaders. Through mentorship, education, and professional development, we must continue to invest in making each of you even better.

We must also ensure you have the tools you need to continue to provide global reach every day. Today, our nation, Allies, and Coalition partners depend on us to deliver aerial refueling - we must ensure we maximize every new capability of the KC-46A Pegasus as we continue to deliver those critical capabilities. The KC-46A is one of the Air Force's top acquisition priorities. It will benefit our nation for decades to come, and we must get it right.

Finally, I want to continue to build broad understanding of our Airmen and their critical mission. Through 13 years of war, we have enjoyed an unprecedented level of support from the American public - they appreciate the mission you do every day, and the challenges you face. That understanding is essential to keeping us connected to the society that we protect and serve, and it sets the foundation for us to overcome the fiscal and operational challenges that lie ahead. As we continue into a very busy 2015, I challenge each of you to lead. You don't need a special duty title to lead, and it doesn't matter what rank or outfit you wear. Leadership at all levels is what makes our Air Force the best in the world.

It's my honor to serve as your commander. Thank you for your service and your commitment to our nation, our Air Force, and your fellow Airmen.