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A Message from the Air Mobility Command Chief

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sergeant Brian P. Kruzelnick, Air Mobility Command Chief

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- In 1921, Wesley May demonstrated the first aerial refueling capability by walking and climbing on the wing of one airborne aircraft to another, 1000 feet above the earth, with a five-gallon can of gasoline strapped to his back. May, with pilots Frank Hawks and Earl Daugherty, proved the concept of aerial refueling. This gave way to the Question Mark in 1929, and eventually evolved to the KC-46A Pegasus of today. It was a game-changing moment for global reach that started with an innovative thought, the fortitude to execute and a five-gallon can of gas. May, Hawks and Daugherty are shining examples of our ultimate competitive advantage…our people. Talented, multi-capable and digitally-adept Airmen are at the heart of achieving our National Defense Strategy (NDS). 

The NDS highlights today’s strategic environment of great power competition against near-peer adversaries, requiring our military to counter sophisticated systems with a multidomain approach. 

Rapid Global Mobility underpins Joint Force objectives, as rapid, agile and resilient mobility effects are paramount to success. 

Chief of Staff, Gen. Brown, stated the need to go fast in his white paper, “Accelerate Change or Lose”, so the United States can maintain its military dominance over those near-peer competitors called out in the NDS, like China, whose destabilizing behavior threatens international rules based order. Therefore, AMC is literally moving out! 

Our AMC commander and my wingman, Gen. Van Ovost, and I are overjoyed to be your new command team, and work for you, to ensure we continue to deliver unmatched responsive airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation, and global air mobility support. But we must evolve at the speed of strategic relevance across all domains…we must accelerate! 

This starts with you, our Mobility Warriors… your resiliency, professionalism, expertise, character, curious nature, and bias toward action. We, together, will push this command into the future by prioritizing the development of the force, advancing warfighting capabilities, projecting the Joint Force, and ensuring strategic deterrence. This is underpinned by your innovation and full-spectrum readiness in order to generate credible capacity our customers can count on. 

We need to promote divergent and critical thinking among the force so we can develop and exercise new warfighting concepts. This requires resilient capabilities and the need to leverage advanced digital infrastructures and data analytics. That is the basis for our organize, train and equip element. As warfighters, we are the most agile arm of United States Transportation Command…the Joint Force stands on our shoulders to project global combat power. We must rise to the occasion of a dynamic contested or uncontested environment, moving forward with new concepts like Agile Combat Employment. Furthermore, we must secure strategic deterrence by delivering critical nuclear mission support, through nofail airlift and air refueling operations. 

We accelerate—while overcoming challenging and ill-defined environments—through divergent thought, leveraging and embracing our diverse force, investing in our Airmen and families, and developing a digital ecosystem where every Airman is comfortable and capable to operate in. We already moved down this road due to the COVID pandemic.

The pandemic was an immediate and unforeseen contested environment, forcing AMC to adapt Rapid Global Mobility operations to transport ambulatory patients and safely move military members and their families. Not surprisingly, Mobility Airmen answered our nation’s call. Similar to May, Hawks and Daugherty, you figured it out, drawing a sketch on a napkin, which evolved to a Negatively-Pressurized Conex (NPC) capable of moving infectious patients without spreading the virus to aircrew or others. Additionally, we developed other precautionary measures to continue to move the force globally in order to meet combatant command requirements. Again, our agile Mobility Warriors are the competitive advantage over all adversaries and are the cornerstone for our ability to move fast. 

Teammates, think differently, have audacious goals and the fortitude to execute. Your leadership has your back. We care about you, we appreciate you and we love you.