Air Mobility Command 2022 Year in Review

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

An intense operations tempo and constant calls for mobility capabilities in support of the Nation’s most important missions is nothing new for Air Mobility Command Airmen, but in many ways 2022 stood apart as the command intensified its focus on solving future challenges while remaining wholly responsive to today’s requirements. Mobility Airmen stepped up to the challenge, employing their ingenuity, grit and passion in ways no one could have predicted.

Early in the year, AMC Airmen once again took the international stage as they postured for adaptive support to Ukraine, delivering hope in the form of millions of pounds of equipment and other critical security assistance. These missions, augmented by commercial partners, continued throughout the year.

“This is a testament to U.S. Transportation Command’s ability to rapidly project and sustain, whenever and wherever our nation requires,” said Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, USTRANSCOM commander. “Our commitment to delivering security assistance to our Ukrainian partners remains steadfast.”

Mobility Airmen were also critical to responding to the national baby formula crisis, underscoring AMC’s capabilities to give leaders options to meet strategic mobility challenges.

In the midst of all this, AMC pushed the limits of previous mobility operations around the world—all while providing Rapid Global Mobility for the United States, allies and partners.

“Last year, the mobility team was charged with understanding the assumptions of the future fight and paved an aggressive way forward to closing identified gaps for ensuring victory for the joint force,” said Gen. Mike Minihan, AMC commander.

In March, Minihan announced the AMC strategy to win, codifying this directive and setting a vector for how Mobility Airmen, with their truly global mission, deliver victory for America. To do that, empowered Airmen need to “intentionally disrupt the status quo” and focus on “aggressively and urgently” closing capability gaps.

The command then presented those gaps to more than 200 DoD and Industry partners at its inaugural Summer Industry Preview held in July at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Attendees were invited back to the Airlift/Tanker Association conference in Denver, Colorado, in October, to present their solutions to AMC leaders and subject-matter experts.

AMC also hosted its 2022 Mobility Air Forces Weapons and Tactics Conference that focused on delivering Pacific-oriented solutions for the Joint Force. These events were part of a series that set AMC on a fast track to improve readiness.

“Nobody is going to care what our plans are for five to 10 years if we lose tomorrow,” Minihan said at the Air Force Association’s Air Space and Cyber conference in September, where he previewed the Mobility Manifesto. The document argues four key ideas: Airmen are the magic; lethality matters most; AMC is the Joint Force maneuver; and we need to invest in American tenacity to win now.

“Our toys, our training, our desires are meaningless unless we maneuver them to unfair advantage and unrepentant lethality,” he said.

At the same event, Minihan announced the culmination of a yearlong sprint to operationalize the KC-46A, which had been utilized in multiple employment concept exercises to validate the aircraft’s ability to complete its mission.

“We are ready to use this aircraft globally in any fight, without hesitation,” he said, while announcing he had cleared the KC-46A for worldwide deployments to meet combatant command taskings.

In November, AMC presented the culmination of its efforts to build a winning scheme of maneuver in the Pacific to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. and other Air Force major command commanders that was built on the work of AMC’s Fight Club as well as multiple joint planning events and staff-to-staff exchanges. This marked a key milestone in preparing the command to execute Exercise Mobility Guardian in 2023, which will take place in the Indo-Pacific and demonstrate AMC’s role as the Joint Force maneuver. 

AMC Airmen took to heart the challenge to extract maximum value from existing tools by executing various impressive, sometimes record-breaking operations, including a 72-hour KC-135 endurance mission, KC-46 limited crew flight, and a KC-46 36-hour endurance mission.

By December, AMC was tied in with U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Strategic Command, USTRANSCOM, and their components to execute a bomber task force mission in the Pacific that demonstrated AMC’s role in providing global reach with rapid, agile and resilient mobility effects through multiple domains and across the full spectrum of Joint operations.  

 All of these successes hinge on a Warrior Heart mentality--a readiness model that focuses on Airmen’s development of mind, body, and craft to ensure they are prepared for a violent fight. Nowhere was this on display more than in recognizing the first anniversary of Operation Allies Refuge, the largest non-combatant evacuation operation in American history, where Mobility Airmen moved more than 124,000 people out of harm’s way, often under hostile conditions. In October, AMC announced 96 Airmen received the Distinguished Flying Cross and 12 Airmen the Bronze Star Medal in one of the largest such recognitions in history. The 621st Contingency Response Group earned the Gallant Unit Award.

Mobility Airmen are bold, solution-oriented and empowered, and as AMC looks to 2023, the command is confident in its ability to project, maneuver, connect and sustain.