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AMC staff trains for victory with command post exercise

  • Published
  • By Air Mobility Command Public Affairs
  • Air Mobility Command

Last week, the Air Mobility Command headquarters staff engaged in a three-day generation exercise on the AMC campus that simulated the process of rapidly preparing the mobility air forces to deploy – in this case, in response to a simulated crisis in the Indo-Pacific.

The exercise explored the conditions and requirements leading up to the rapid movement of mobility forces to allow the staff to practice critical interoperability skills. Exercise planners designed the event to rehearse the actions necessary to swiftly position the MAF to maneuver the joint force at the onset of a conflict or crisis in the region. 

"This exercise is designed to get the headquarters staff, air operations center, and subordinate units familiar with executing the AMC Competition Execution Order,” said Col. Daniel Cordes, chief of AMC’s Operational Planning and Sensitive Activities Division. “That order rapidly and deliberately sets the command on a crisis response footing through a series of predetermined actions down to the wing level.”

Participants assembled as the commander’s battle staff, or CBS, to run their respective playbooks and complete key tasks as the air component for U.S. Transportation Command. The exercise required them to take into account the vast distances mobility forces would encounter in a high-end fight in the Indo-Pacific. For an added level of realism, AMC’s analysis and studies directorate ran simulation software that oriented the staff to projected changes in the operational environment. 

During the scenario, participants leveraged existing skills, tools and best practices from recent operations such as Operation Allies Refuge and U.S. support to Ukraine, tailoring them to the scenario presented. They also coordinated and deconflicted their functions to develop actionable decision points for the AMC commander.

“Setting logistics conditions wins wars, and there is a staffing function to doing that,” Cordes said. “This exercise was about focusing on what AMC has to do to move ourselves first to be able to move the rest of the joint force in support of a combatant command.” 

This local exercise was a key precursor to Exercise Mobility Guardian 23, a bi-annual exercise set to take place next summer. The work the staff did to process and validate the execution order set up the next phase of the exercise in which AMC will physically put people, cargo and aircraft into the Indo-Pacific theater to demonstrate a winning scheme of maneuver among the rest of the joint forces, partners and allies.

“We have to rehearse like it’s going to happen tomorrow and get after it,” said Gen. Mike Minihan, AMC commander. “There is too much water and too much distance for anyone else to deliver at pace, at speed, and at scale like we do.”