SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. - The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force discussed Air Mobility Command’s contributions to the Air Force mission and the need to modernize the fleet during a visit here Jan. 18.
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody acknowledged AMC’s mission isn’t just important to the Air Force, but also to combatant commanders, other U.S. agencies and U.S. allies around the globe.
“I’m no stranger to this command and understand completely how integrated we are around the globe,” Cody said. “This command has a footprint with our mobility squadrons on all corners of the earth, and we have relationships with many of our partner nation countries. When you look at that global environment we have to be able to operate in, these relationships are critical.”
Cody focused on AMC Airmen, adding that in some locations, it’s AMC Airmen who are the single point of presence, who maintain those relationships and connectivity.
“Having that relationship gives us access, and it gives us that ability to project globally in a way our nation needs us to,” he said. “We can’t be the military we are, go the places we do, and have the effect we have globally without AMC or the Airmen that support this mission,” he said.
Cody stated that while dedicated Airmen continue to maintain the current fleet of mobility aircraft, the need for modernizing mobility aircraft and programs is vital to the Air Force’s continued success in projecting global air power.
“The KC-46 is absolutely critical to the future capability of our Air Force and for this command to be able to support combatant commanders,” he said. “It is a testament to our Air Force and our Airmen that we have been able to continue to operate the current aircraft, and that a 60-year-old airplane continues to give us that global access we have because of its refueling capability. (People) would like to think of the C-17 as a new aircraft … it is 20-plus years-old, and we’ve put it through some pretty dynamic environments. It’s essential that we continue to modernize this fleet if we’re going to maintain that global access.”
Cody was here to address attendees of the AMC’s Chief’s Leadership Course. He spoke to new chief master sergeants and chief master sergeant-selects about their new roles and responsibilities.
It is always a great opportunity to congratulate the new chief-selects, and to use the opportunity to remind them about the importance of their senior enlisted leadership role, Cody said.
Cody also discussed some of the issues he focused on during his tenure as the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force with sequestration and force reductions challenging the enlisted force.
“We’ve focused on a lot of things in the context of making sure Airmen are fully prepared to do the missions they are being asked to do,” Cody said. “That goes in line with deliberate development, whether through their professional military education or their training. Trying to balance the demand signals on Airmen and air power with the need to maintain and increase readiness has been a significant challenge for our Air Force.”
There is also a focus on helping Airmen develop a way to maintain healthy work-life balances.
“There is an insatiable demand for what Airmen bring to the fight and their readiness to do it shouldn’t be understated by any means,” he said. “There’s a lot of things to focus on, not the least of which is Airmen and their families, and what we asked them to do. We’ve made significant efforts over the last four years, including efforts to reduce ancillary training and additional duties.”