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EC leaders visit Pacific en route Airmen

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jamie Powell
  • USAF Expeditionary Center

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J.-- Leaders from the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center here visited three air mobility squadrons of the 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing in Japan and Republic of Korea from Aug. 21-25.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Bence, USAF EC commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Larry Williams, USAF EC command chief, visited the units to meet with the Airmen who support Air Mobility Command's en route support structure.

"We like to say we put the 'RAPID' in Rapid Global Mobility," Bence said. "One way we do that is by providing persistent en route operations with two air mobility operation wings, one in the Pacific [515th AMOW], one in Europe [521st AMOW] and a stand-alone group [43rd AMOG] at Pope Field."

The 515th AMOW is headquartered at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii and oversees the Expeditionary Center and AMC’s en route support structure at 26 diverse locations across 100 million square miles in the Pacific area of responsibility.

“The Airmen that comprise this unique wing bring that aerial network to life, providing command and control, aerial port, and maintenance operations for AMC aircraft transiting the globe,” said Col. Scott Zippwald, 515th AMOW, commander. “Their expertise and day-to-day operations ensure guaranteed execution and readiness supporting Rapid Global Mobility across 52% of the earth’s surface…no small task.”

During their visit to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region of the 515th AMOW, Bence and Williams met with Airmen with the 730th Air Mobility Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan, the 733rd AMS at Kadena Air Base, Japan, and the 731st AMS at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea.

While at Osan AB, Bence talked about the recent events in the region and what role 515th AMOW Airmen play.

"With the current regional tensions, Rapid Global Mobility plays the most critical role," Bence said. "Especially across this AOR where we don't have a lot railways or roads, which means most of it is coming by sea or air."

He emphasized that Mobility Airmen across the entire South Korean peninsula are postured and ready to support all the personnel, equipment and cargo that needs to come in out of the region.

"Being here helped to open my eyes to the bigger picture and realize the tremendous impact we have," said Senior Airman Earl Devaughn Jr., a passenger service agent assigned to the 731st AMS at Osan AB. "Just seeing how our presence facilitates humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as well as moving personnel around the whole AOR is something that has amazed me since I got here."

Bence ensured Airmen at every stop that he and the rest of their leadership team will continue to support them to ensure they're prepared to effectively carry out their mission.

"For the Airmen who are assigned in the Pacific as part of Air Mobility Command, I want them to know that with myself, Command Chief Master Sgt. Williams and your 515th leadership team, you have no bigger advocates to be able to provide the resources you need for yourselves and your families."