POPE ARMY AIRFIELD, N.C. -- Air Mobility Command hosted 25 civic leaders from around the command Nov. 15 -17, 2016, for an immersion into AMC’s mission at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina, and to provide insight into its prominent role enabling joint mission effects globally.
“Air Mobility Command is a global force, enabling joint effects and positive change on a global scale,” said Gen. Carlton Everhart, Air Mobility Command commander. “The demand signal for AMC capability will only increase in the future, requiring Airman’s ingenuity and agility to meet needs and global security challenges on demand.”
Aligning with the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s focus on the U.S. Air Force’s role and responsibility to enable joint mission success, the visit provided civic leaders insight into the global operating environment as well as AMC’s total force support to joint warfighters during times of stretched resources.
In providing rapid global mobility, Air Mobility Command Airmen launch aircraft once every 2.8 minutes in support of the nine geographic commands it supports. Earlier in the year, AMC aircraft departed Pope Army Airfield but still had a requirement to provide mission support to the Army.
During the event, 43rd Air Mobility Operations Group Airmen shared their mission with civic leaders demonstrating how they provide airlift support for rapid deployment of forces assigned to the Joint Special Operations Command, the XVIII Airborne Corps and 82nd Airborne Division despite having no actual aircraft assigned to the base.
“When the AMOG stood up in June, we stood up at Pope for the long term,” said Col. Kelly R. Holbert, 43rd AMOG commander, “We see it as an enduring mission, and though the reserve command of C-130s are no longer assigned to Pope, our daily operations continue to increase while our support to the Army and joint warfighter continues to expand.”
With a little over 900 Airmen assigned, the unique stand-along group demonstrated how they rely on their Airmen, ingenuity and agility while continuing support of U.S. Army airborne training requirements.
“We evolved in the way we provide support to a vitally important mission that is a number one priority for the Army,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas Sharpy, AMC vice commander. “It is also a top priority for us. When aircraft left Pope there were concerns, but our great Airmen and their tremendous work ensured not only were mission needs met, but our Airmen exceeded expectations.”
In 2016, AMC employed more than 66,000 Airborne Corps jumps, a 33 percent increase from the previous year’s totals.
The partnership between the Army and Air Force remained prominent as the civic leaders heard from both Airmen and Soldiers who rely on each other to achieve the national defense requirements.
Civic leaders had the opportunity to walk through the Deployment Readiness Cage with the 82nd Airborne and interact with Army and Air Force riggers at the Heavy Drop Rigging Facility. They received hands-on experience building container delivery system bundles with loadmasters from the 43rd Operations Support Squadron.
“I have been an AMC civic leader for four years, and this was one of the best experiences. I really got to see how AMC’s role feeds into other branches,” said John Hood, AMC civic leader representing Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. “Anytime you can show the civilian population how AMC supports the joint warfighter or another branch of service, it gives us the complete picture on how the base we support fits into national security.”
Civic leaders like Hood provide a unique level of support to AMC and the Air Force. Through developing relationships with AMC leadership and learning about the air mobility mission, civic leaders help increase understanding and cooperation between the civilian and military community.
“Challenging fiscal times and dynamic global circumstances require greater levels of cooperation, understanding, and insight from civic leaders,” said Everhart. “Our civic leaders are critical mission partners who selflessly dedicate their time, expertise and resources to support and advance the Air Force mission. They actively work to gain informed insight into the complex challenges of the day and how Air Mobility Command's Airmen and capability are offering unique solutions to national security challenges.”