21st Expeditionary Mobility Task Force
Twenty-First Air Force
Twenty-first Air Force, headquartered at McGuire Air Force Base, NJ, is one of two numbered air forces in Air Mobility Command. Its mission is to command and assess the combat readiness of assigned air mobility forces over the Atlantic half of the globe in support of Global Reach. These forces are at more than 55 locations in eight countries. Twenty-first Air Force major units include six active duty wings, two operational flying groups, and two mobility operations/support groups. Additionally, Twenty-first Air Force is liaison to 40 Air Reserve Component Wings.
The Twenty-first Air Force strategic airlift force includes C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster III C-130 Hercules, and the C-141 Starlifter aircraft, used to move cargo and passengers worldwide. The tanker force includes KC-10 Extenders and KC-135 Stratotankers used for inflight refueling to provide increased global mobility.
Stateside, the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., provides worldwide administrative airlift support to the president and other top government officials flying the C-9, C-20, C-21, C-32, VC-25 (Air Force One), VC-137, and UH-1 aircraft. The Malcolm Grow USAF Medical Center, also at Andrews, is the largest Air Force medical facility on the East Coast.
Dover Air Force Base, Del., is the home of the 436th Airlift Wing which flies the C-5. The 437th Airlift Wing at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., flies the C-141 and is the first AMC unit to fly the new C-17. The 305th Air Mobility Wing at McGuire flies the C-141 and KC-10 aircraft. The 6th Air Refueling Wing at MacDill AFB, Fla., and the 19th Air Refueling Group at Robins AFB, Ga., fly KC-135 aircraft. The 43rd Airlift Wing at Pope AFB, N.C., and the 463rd Airlift Group at Little Rock AFB, Ark., fly the C-130.
A network of Twenty-first Air Force organizations support AMC's operations throughout Europe, Africa and South America. The major units include the 621st Air Mobility Support Group at Ramstein Air Base, Germany; the 640th Air Mobility Support Squadron at Howard AFB, Panama, and the 621st Air Mobility Operations Group at McGuire. Additionally, airlift support squadrons are located at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey; Lajes Field, Azores; Rota Naval Air Station, Spain; Rhein Main Air Base, Germany; and Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England. There are also Detachments and Operating Locations throughout the area of responsibility, which are critical to the enroute system.
Twenty-first Air Force units have a proud heritage of providing airlift in support of national policy under the most difficult circumstances. In Operation Just Cause, Twenty-first Air Force units conducted the largest night airdrop since World War II, leading to the liberation of Panama. Twenty-first Air Force controlled the largest airlift in history during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, ensuring the success of our response to Iraqi aggression. Twenty-First Air Force is instrumental to the continuing operations in Bosnia and Southwest Asia.
While Twenty-first Air Force has been a critical participant in U.S. combat operations, the command has been far more active supporting peaceful, humanitarian missions. Twenty-first Air Force units flew relief missions after Hurricanes Hugo and Andrew, earthquakes in Armenia and San Francisco, and many other natural disasters. In addition, it controlled the Operation Provide Comfort airlift missions to the Kurds following the Persian Gulf War, the Operation Provide Hope airlift in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and participated in Operation Restore Hope, the humanitarian airlift of food and supplies into Somalia.
Twenty-First also supports numerous exercises around the world, one of which was CENTRAZBAT, in which C-17's flew multi-national paratroopers non-stop from Pope AFB N.C., airdropping them directly into the Central Asian countries of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan demonstrating the capabilities of direct delivery. While these examples highlight the capability of 21st AF, the command also routinely operates in remote, often austere locations throughout Europe, Africa, and South America. In all of these missions, the focus is on responsive airlift support to AMC customers wherever they may be.
On October 1, 2003 the Twenty-First Air Force was re-designated as the 21st Expeditionary Mobility Task Force.
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