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AMC reorganizing; activating 18th Air Force


Release Date: 7/25/2003

by Cynthia Bauer Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

7/25/2003 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFPN) -- Gen. John W. Handy, commander of U.S. Transportation Command and Air Mobility Command here, announced a major reorganization of AMC.

Key to the reorganization is the activation Oct. 1 of a new numbered Air Force with its headquarters here and the re-designation of AMC's two numbered air forces. The numbered air forces will become expeditionary mobility task forces, the 15th EMTF at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., and the 21st EMTF at McGuire AFB, N.J.

"We are looking at an evolution in air mobility," the general said. "As a command, we have matured the past 11 years. The world has gotten smaller from a mobility perspective. The roles and responsibilities of our Tanker Airlift Control Center have increased over time as the centralized mobility air operations center for the warfighting combatant commanders. The AMC reorganization is all about how we present forces to those commanders for command, control and execution of base opening, airlift, air refueling and aeromedical evacuation."

The staffing for the EMTFs and the new 18th Air Force will be fewer than the 99 military and civilian positions now authorized for each numbered air force.

"People are my priority," said Handy. "We will make sure everyone is taken care of and that those positions affected by these changes are reduced gracefully through normal attrition or absorbed by other AMC organizations at McGuire or Travis."

Handy said mobility has evolved from command and control of airlift resources "by fax and phone" with tasking through the numbered air forces, to the global command and control provided through the state-of-the-art TACC network. The numbered air forces over time had become more focused on readiness of the force than on warfighting. The new structure will place the responsibility for warfighting, readiness and follow through directly with the 18th AF.

With the activation of the 18th AF, Handy said, "We're really going back to the traditional warfighting role of the numbered air force. The reorganization also gives us a cleaner reporting chain, reconnecting some of the disconnects, that puts the numbered air force in operational control of the TACC, two EMTFs, the air mobility operations groups, 12 wings, three groups and the global en route air mobility system. The 18th AF will be responsible for the presentation of forces to the warfighters."

A three-star general will become the commander of the 18th AF and a one-star general will become the TACC director. Each EMTF will also be under the command of a one-star general. All tasking and execution of air mobility missions will be through 18th AF. AMC's wings and groups based in the continental United States, as well as the AMOGs at Travis AFB; Hickam AFB, Hawaii; McGuire AFB; and Ramstein Air Base, Germany, will report to the 18th AF commander.

"The time is right for this reorganization, especially as we face the incredible demands of the global war on terrorism," said Handy. "We must have a command structure that is lighter, leaner and more effective that meets Department of Defense and Air Force requirements for transformation. We're creating a standing task force structure through our EMTFs, which meshes well with our air and space expeditionary force and force module constructs."

The general said the reorganization will be fairly transparent to AMC's customers, the warfighting commanders, but will have a great impact on the efficiency of the command itself.

"In all likelihood they (combatant commanders) will not notice the difference. This is organizing Air Mobility Command to better present forces, allow us to very efficiently and effectively take advantage of our staff. The greatest impact will be felt within Air Mobility Command and the work we do, and how command and control will quickly go from a numbered air force commander to wing-level command. That line of communication becomes very straight forward."

The general explained that the EMTF commanders will serve as "super DIRMOBFORs" or directors of mobility forces. They will have under their command the men and women who make up the AMOGs that are the leading edge of the presentation of forces to the warfighter in times of conflict or civil disaster.

The reorganization will also affect the AMC headquarters directorates, which will convert to an "A Staff" structure. The A-Staff and staff agencies will be responsible for the functions to train, organize, equip and provide command policy for the command. As part of the reorganization, the general will create a new "A-7" as a combination of civil engineers and services to be the single point of entry into the command for AMC mission support group commanders.

In the past, AMC's two numbered air forces have mirrored staff functions at the headquarters, resulting in a duplication of effort in such areas as standardization/evaluation and logistics. These functions will migrate to the command to free up the EMTFs for their warfighting support role.

"This is all about how AMC supports the warfighting commander," said Handy. "Air Mobility Command is transforming itself into a lighter, leaner, more effective and efficient organization." (Courtesy of AMC News Service)

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