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AMC officials blend Guard, Reserve, active-duty units

by Master Sgt. Angie Sarchet
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

10/2/2009 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -- Air Mobility Command officials here continued their total force integration efforts Oct. 1 with the stand up of three active associate units that now combine active-duty units and Airmen who accomplish the KC-135 Stratotanker air refueling mission with their Reserve and Guard counterparts.

The three units that stood up are at Scott Air Force Base, Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H., and Birmingham ANGB, Ala.

Total force integration, an effort initiated by AMC officials several years ago, maximizes resources while increasing operational effectiveness in support of warfighters.

Simply defined, an associate unit is where active duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard members combine forces and missions using total force integration. Normally, people think of an associate unit when the active duty owns the aircraft and the Reserve or Air National Guard co-locate with them providing only manpower.

On Oct. 1; however, that relationship has evolved with great success as AMC broke that old paradigm. In the past, active duty units were not placed at Reserve or Guard "unit equipped" locations. To take advantage of the synergies and aircraft, active duty units are now being stood up at these locations. This enables the Air Force to be more productive in meeting the global demands for mobility air forces.

Recent active associate success stories can be found for the C-40 mission at Scott AFB, for the C-130 mission at Cheyenne Municipal Airport, Wyo., and for the KC-135 mission at Seymour-Johnson AFB, N.C. AMC officials will continue to capitalize on the success of these units and apply lessons learned to the new units the command brings on line.

"Having the KC-135 active association unit stand up at Scott AFB is another testimony of how we enable combat power," said Col. Gary Goldstone, the newly-established 375th Air Mobility Wing commander. "As part of the total force integration, this transition allows better use of resources and manpower to ensure we better accomplish the mission both at home and during contingency deployments."

Active associations are a win-win for AMC, officials said. The total force integration concept builds on state and regional capabilities, increasing economic efficiencies and enhancing the Air Force's ability to defend the homeland against emerging threats, respond to natural disasters, and meet the requirements for contingency operations.

As the Air Force realigns and consolidates, the use of total force integration has helped enhance unit operations and optimize mobility partnerships, particularly in AMC. While some units are moving, deactivating and reactivating due to the last round of Base Realignment and Closure Commission actions, this creates unique partnerships not normally seen in the Total Force community.

At Scott AFB, Air National Guard leaders agreed with the capability of building associate units.

"The Illinois Air National Guard's 126th Air Refueling Wing is an outstanding unit with a great history," said Maj. Gen. William Enyart, the Illinois National Guard adjutant general. "Our Illinois Airmen have an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience that makes the 126th Air Refueling Wing ideal to be an associate unit with the Air Force."

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