JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --
The Air Mobility Command leadership team visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, July 6-8, 2022, to be immersed in America’s Airlift Wing’s mission of executing global airlift.
U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Minihan, AMC commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Brian Kruzelnick, AMC command chief, engaged with Team McChord Airmen, leadership and community leaders during their visit.
“For chief and I, and Kareen and Ashley, to be here is a big honor,” Minihan said. “I know it’s not fun having your boss and a traveling circus come in and it’s already incredibly additive to the already important mission that you’re doing … but, we are incredibly grateful.”
During their visit, Minihan and Kruzelnick heard first-hand accounts of the 62nd Airlift Wing’s significant contribution to Operation ALLIES REFUGE, and met the aircrew who earned the 2021 AMC Doolittle Award.
Additionally, they were briefed on the wing’s unique responsibilities, such as conducting Operation DEEP FREEZE.
The command team lauded the 62d AW’s warfighter focus to win in the Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility and globally with Exercise Rainier War and Swift Response.
“You are 100 percent crushing the mission,” Kruzelnick said.
Minihan disclosed that when he took command of AMC, he handed every group and wing commander a letter. In that letter were four statements; one being, “Get ready for the big fight.”
“We will be ready,” exclaimed Minihan. “We will be ready. You guys have demonstrated with Rainier War and the integration that’s going on with the Army across the street, through your actions on past battlefields and battle skies – we want to be so ready that when they wake up and look out the window and see us, that they don’t want any part of it.”
Minihan also enforced the importance of maintaining mental health and aimed to erase the stigma of seeking help.
AMC’s top brass described the steps that he personally took leading up to a conversation with a professional: going to the elevator nobody gets on, sitting in the waiting room nobody wants to be in, or filling out forms that nobody wants to fill out.
“If I can do it, you can do it,” Minihan said. “There is no stigma in my family, in my headquarters, [or] in my command when it comes to the pillar of mental health – it’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. If you need help, seek help.”
Wrapping up the all-call, Kruzelnick thanked Team McChord Airmen and families.
“Thank you for all you do. It matters – it’s important,” Kruzelnick said. “Each and every one of you matter. We appreciate you and your families. We care about each and every one of you and your families. And we love you.”
Minihan concluded the all-call by lauding Team McChord’s accomplishments and reiterating that AMC has been delivering “magic” for decades.
“I don’t care who you are [or] what generation you are in,” Minihan said. “C-47s dropping the 101st into Normandy? Magic. C-54s, Chosin Reservoir? Magic. [C-130 Hercules] into Khe Sanh? Magic. 141s into Hanoi? Magic. C-5s in the Storm? Magic. C-17s, 2003? Iraq? Magic. 2001? Magic.”
Minihan encouraged Airmen to be proud of their accomplishments and what’s to come.
“Walk like you own this place, because you do,” concluded Minihan. “You do.”