Air Mobility Command
A new era in air power history began on 1 June 1992 when the Military Airlift Command and the Strategic Air Command were inactivated and the Air Mobility Command (AMC) formed from elements of these two historic organizations. AMC melded a worldwide airlift system with a tanker force that had been freed from its strategic commitments by the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The Air Mobility Command, born out of the biggest reorganization of the Air Force since its establishment as a separate service, has undergone considerable change since it's establishment. Focusing on its core mission of strategic air mobility, the command divested itself of infrastructure and forces not directly related to global reach. AMC relinquished ownership of Hurlburt Field, Florida; Kirtland AFB, New Mexico; Altus AFB, Oklahoma; Lajes AB, Azores; Little Rock AFB, Arkansas; Malmstrom AFB, Montana; Grissom AFB, Indiana; and Norton AFB, California. The Air Rescue Service, intratheater aeromedical airlift forces based overseas, and much of the operational support airlift fleet have been transferred to other commands. But the KC-10s and most of the KC-135s initially assigned to ACC were transferred to AMC, along with Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota; McConnell AFB, Kansas; and Fairchild AFB, Washington.
As an Air Force major command, AMC trains, organizes, and provides operationally ready forces to the unified commanders. The NAFs play a vital role in AMC's overall ability to accomplish this important service function. Both 15th and 21st Air Force aid AMC in unit evaluation, assessment, communications, customer service, and force management. The NAFs help focus their units on readiness and performance. As liaisons, the NAFs voice the concerns of their units reporting information vital to continuous improvement and support of customers. In an advocacy role, the NAFs reinforce the command's goals, acting as a conduit to transmit command policy, guidelines, and instructions. By training and evaluating their units to established standards, both 15th and 21st Air Force ensure that AMC organic forces -- active and ARC -- are ready to perform their assigned missions."
New ways of doing business have characterized the Air Mobility Command. The Tanker Airlift Control Center, located with the command headquarters at Scott AFB, Illinois, provides centralized scheduling and execution of all AMC airlift and air refueling missions. Centralization has simplified customer access to the air mobility forces by streamlining the chain of command, eliminating bureaucratic delays, and increasing responsiveness. The command reorganized from three numbered air forces (two for airlift and one for tankers) into two air mobility numbered air forces, Fifteenth and Twenty-First, both of which contain airlift and tanker units. Finally, the en route support structure has been redesigned, reducing by more than two thirds the number of AMC people at fixed overseas locations and cutting the number of locations from 39 to 13. Simultaneously, air mobility operations groups were established under each numbered air force to deploy people and equipment to expand the en route structure during surges in peacetime or contingency operations.
The airlift fleet is changing, too. AMC accepted its first C-17 Globemaster III at Charleston AFB, South Carolina, on 14 June 1993 and declared initial operational capability on 17 January 1995. AMC's second C-17 wing was established at McChord AFB, Washington, in July 1999. The versatile C-17, America's future core military airlifter, is a key player in the Air Force's post-Cold War strategy of "global reach - global power". The C-17 replaces the aging C-141 and delivers twice the cargo for the same operating cost.
The Air Mobility Command's ability to provide global reach has been tested daily and sometimes approaches wartime intensity. From providing relief supplies to hurricane, flood, and earthquake victims both at home and abroad to flying food and medicine to the peoples of the former Soviet Union, AMC has been engaged in almost nonstop operations since its inception. Command tankers and airlifters have supported peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts in Bosnia, Iraq, Cambodia, Somalia, Rwanda, and Haiti. These many examples of the effective application of nonlethal air power indicate that air mobility is a national asset of growing importance for responding to emergencies and protecting national interests around the globe.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to: realign Fort Eustis, VA, by relocating the Army Surface Deployment and Distribution Command to Scott Air Force Base, IL, and consolidating it with the Air Force Air Mobility Command Headquarters and Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) Headquarters at Scott AFB; realign Hoffman 2, a leased installation in Alexandria, VA, by relocating the US Army Surface Deployment and Distribution Command to Scott AFB, IL, and consolidating it with the Air Force Air Mobility Command Headquarters and Transportation Command Headquarters at Scott AFB; realign US Army Surface Deployment and Distribution Command -Transportation Engineering Agency facility in Newport News, VA, by relocating US Army Surface Deployment and Distribution Command - Transportation Engineering Agency to Scott Air Force Base and consolidating it with the Air Force Air Mobility Command Headquarters and Transportation Command Headquarters at Scott AFB.
Collocation of TRANSCOM and Service components would (1) collocate activities with common functions and facilitate large-scale transformation proposed by the TRANSCOM Commander, and (2) reduce personnel to realize long-term savings. The realignment would also terminate leased space operations in the National Capital Region (143,540 GSF in Alexandria, VA) and near Norfolk, VA (40,013 GSF in Newport News, VA).
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