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AMC sets standard for total force readiness

  • Published
  • By Jodi Ames
  • Headquarters Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

When it comes to maintaining readiness and sustainment, Air Mobility Command has a team of unrivaled professionals working day in and day out to make sure the men and women of AMC are postured to deliver the right effects in the right place at precisely the right time.

Given the current challenges presented by a climate of fiscal austerity and the fact that the Air Force is operating with the smallest force the service has ever known, it's no secret that readiness plays an even larger role in sustainment and accomplishing the mission than ever before.

The reason is simple: readiness and sustainment are key components in executing rapid global mobility.

By viewing readiness through this lens, it becomes clear why senior leaders place a high priority on the evolution of exercises, reporting systems and inspection practices.

This perspective also affords directorates with an opportunity to look beyond traditional systems and methods of reporting to capture data and statistics that illustrate real-time states of readiness for commanders.

"We must maintain the readiness of our personnel, platforms systems, training and partnerships so we can continue to provide rapid global mobility on behalf of our nation," said AMC Commander Gen. Carlton D. Everhart III.

AMC guarantees readiness by developing existing capabilities to detect vulnerabilities and designing more robust and realistic methods to train and equip mobility air forces.

Considering these tasks, each of the command's directorates plays an integral role in the process of executing rapid global mobility, and each one of them represents a piece of the readiness puzzle.

Through a number of initiatives aimed at identifying shortfalls and mitigating challenges, AMC has established programs and tools that allow for a more comprehensive level of data collection and analysis. This information facilitates a deeper level of understanding that allows leaders to accurately assess both personnel and equipment readiness.

AMC's Health of the Wings steering group is one recent implementation focused on giving senior leadership a candid look at their unit's current capabilities.

Each month, the group pools more than 400 products, including deployment availability code data, to analyze and compare the command's manning averages with current Air Force levels.

According to Rod Tennant from AMC's Issues and Analysis Branch, the data gathered through this tool is incredibly informative, and it enables senior leaders to make specific, analytical decisions based on statistics. The information also gives leadership a big-picture look at the health of AMC wings that they are then able to use to when fighting readiness challenges and reporting to Congress.

For Capt. David Supowit and Staff Sgt. Keith Allen, both from AMC/A1's readiness division, the significance of readiness cannot be understated, because it is not only about reporting, it's also about taking care of the Air Force's greatest asset--Airmen.

"I put myself in the deployers' shoes. I look at combatant command information, specific location details to make sure their information is correct. I ask myself what information they need to know to be prepared," Allen said.

In the vein of readiness, A1 also oversees Air Force Personnel Accountability and Assessment System exercises and coordinates the planning, execution and evaluation of exercises.

Supowit added that his team works to help units figure out what they need, and then they apply the appropriate injects to evaluate unit effectiveness.

Total Force integration efforts have also bolstered AMC's agility in mitigating risks associated with fewer personnel and an aging fleet of aircraft.

"With more than half of all mobility aircraft assigned to Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command units, Air Mobility Command leads the way in operating as a Total Force," Everhart said. "This provides a flexible template to meet operational requirements in both surge and steady-state periods while retaining a viable strategic reserve for emergencies."

AMC's A4 directorate took an active approach in capitalizing on the Total Force enterprise with their recent initiative to co-locate several active duty and Air Force Reserve units at the same base.

"It's about helping them work as a team to maximize utilization of equipment and resources," said Col. Betty Bullington, A4 mobilization assistant to the director. "By co-locating all the same units into one location, it maximizes knowledge and training without duplicating capabilities, which will allow units to be more effective."

Exercises also play an important part in training mobility Airmen to support missions around the globe, hence AMC/A3's recent establishment of A3Y, the directorate's dedicated exercise division.  

In fact, five of the directorate's 11 divisions are dedicated to readiness and training.

A3Y is specifically focused on exercises and employing the latest training guidance. The division also gathers information from within the directorate to create realistic training scenarios that equip aircrew members with the necessary skills to maintain proficiency.

These endeavors have allowed AMC to make the most of simulated training environments.

"We have dramatically increased efficiency with over two decades of investment in the aircrew simulator program, which has shifted thousands of training hours from the aircraft to high-fidelity simulators," said Everhart.

Today, mobility air forces support missions throughout the world, including almost every facet of aerial refueling, air transport, airdrop to combatant commanders and air evacuations during times of crisis.

Through deliberate, proactive measures designed to maintain readiness and sustainment, mobility Airmen must be prepared to respond to a variety of challenges and answer the nation's call at a moment's notice.