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EMTFs: mobility support to 21st century warfighters

Editor's Note: AMC’s reorganization announcement “AMC to reorganize, activate 18th AF”, incorrectly described the chain of command within the new AMC structure. Beginning Oct. 1, AMC wings, the groups at Dyess, Robins and Little Rock AFBs, and the EMTFs will report to the 18th Air Force commander. The four Air Mobility Operations Groups and the en route system will report through the EMTFs.

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (USTCNS) --- On Oct. 1, Air Mobility Command's warfighting reorganization will transform the command's structure to ensure better mobility mission focus for today's expeditionary Air Force. According to AMC commander, Gen. John W. Handy, the result will be enhanced command and control.

"In the future, all presentation of forces to the warfighter will be through one numbered Air Force responsible for the Tanker Airlift Control Center, 12 wings, three groups, two Expeditionary Mobility Task Forces and the en route system," he said.

The reactivated 18th AF will focus on presentation of those mobility forces to the unified commanders for execution of AMC's worldwide operational mission. The existing 15th and 21st Air Forces at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., and McGuire AFB, N.J. will be redesignated as Expeditionary Mobility Task Forces.

But what is an EMTF and how does it fit into AMC's new architecture?

The new Expeditionary Mobility Task Forces are actually key to the execution phase of warfighting. Each of the EMTFs will be commanded by a general officer responsible for leading the efforts of AMC's four Air Mobility Operation Groups and their subordinate units providing worldwide expeditionary mobility support. The EMTF will maintain administrative control over the AMOGs and ensure their appropriate representation and support.

Each AMOG can field professional multifunctional teams to extend existing AMC infrastructure through both in-place employment and rapid forward deployment to meet our nation's Global Air Mobility needs. They can deliver on short notice mission-ready command and control, aerial port, and aircraft maintenance personnel to project and sustain combat forces worldwide.

The EMTF commanders will also play a vital role as deployable Directors of Mobility Forces during contingency operations. As the DIRMOBFOR, the EMTF commander will serve as the designated agent for all air mobility issues in the Area of Responsibility or Joint Operations Area, and for other duties as directed. They will also exercise coordinating authority between the theater command and control nodes, the TACC, and DoD's Joint Movement Center in order to expedite the resolution of air mobility issues.

The EMTF commanders' role is outreach focused, leading AMOG personnel from initial base assessment through full operational capability, anywhere in the world. General Handy points out that the word "task" is already central to the way AMC conducts business.

"That's how we do it today - it's how an AMOG operates. They get a task from the Tanker Airlift Control Center and tailor their resources to accomplish that specific task. The EMTFs will always be out there in peace or war. Their role is mobility. How do I create austere airfields out of nothing? How do I take a robust airfield and make it useful? That will be their expertise," said General Handy. "They can go anywhere and do anything - they're organized under this one-star who's role is to look out there and say 'what can I do to help?'"

Redesignating the current numbered Air Forces to EMTFs provides precise focus on what General Handy describes as "Job #1" -- warfighting. The divestiture of redundant staff functions at the NAFs makes the EMTFs light, lean and agile while consolidation of command and control at 18th AF places centralized warfighting responsibility within a single command element. General Handy says the end result is easily understood.

"The new construct makes it very clear to anyone who looks at the organization that we are part of a task force - it's expeditionary and the task is mobility. We can facilitate mobility in an expeditionary manner anywhere in the world."

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