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AMC commander puts spotlight on Airmen

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- In his comments about the state of the Air Force's Air Mobility Command, Gen. Darren McDew, the commander, lauded the capabilities of Airmen enabling the nation's global air power at the 2014 Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition here, Sept. 16.

"I'm going to brag about air mobility and brag about the Airmen who make it happen," McDew said.

Under McDew's leadership, AMC provides rapid global mobility and sustainment for America's armed forces. The command plays a crucial role in providing humanitarian support at home and around the world. The men and women of AMC -- active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve -- provide airlift, aerial refueling, and special air mission support and aeromedical evacuation.

"They can airlift almost anything, anywhere, at any time," McDew said. "They carry our wounded warriors to safe medical care at a moment's notice... It takes thousands of people to make it happen and a lot of expertise.

"For AMC there is no pivot, we are already there," McDew added.

McDew reflected on the words of retired Army Gen. George C. Marshall to describe his role in maintaining America's unmatched global capability.

"(Marshall) said 'it seemed to me that my main function was to protect the troops from my staff'," McDew said. "I imagine that many may still see it that way but I think that I, and my staff, work very hard to organize, train and equip airmen, with what they need to get done when they need to get it done."

McDew said today's Airmen see themselves in the Air Force strategy and understand meeting the needs of the nation's joint and allied customers all over the world, effectively and efficiently requires innovation along multiple fronts. This includes: on aircraft and in aerial port processing facilities, advanced in-flight medical care, more fuel-efficient aircraft and operational processes, and exploring the next generation of tanker even as the Air Force stands up -- the KC-46 Pegasus.

"Everything we do is captured in the concept of strategic agility," he said. "Airmen must be ready to meet any adversity in any part of the world, often with little to no notice."

McDew said that even as the U.S. draws down from Operation Enduring Freedom, Airmen remain globally engaged while constantly preparing to engage in the next crisis.

He mentioned the importance of air refueling as it has in the last month completed more than 1,000 sorties supporting airstrikes against the Islamic State and the Levant, or ISIL.

AMC's ability to provide rapid global mobility today and in the future requires a commitment to innovation and a total force comprised of active duty, National Guard and Reserve Airmen for whom McDew said he strives every day to be a positive example.

Every time he travels around the world talking to Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and members of the Coast Guard, McDew says he can't say these words enough, "thank you very much."

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