SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – Military forces cannot operate for an extended period without a robust flow of supplies. Whether it’s transporting the Joint Staff, munitions, fuel, or equipment, supporting missions worldwide requires reliable logistics.
But when time is critical, such as delivering humanitarian aid after crisis strikes or move military equipment across the globe — no one does it better than Air Mobility Command.
Headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., about 20 miles east of St. Louis, Air Mobility Command provides unrivaled airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and global air mobility support wherever and whenever it’s needed.
The total force AMC team consists of more than 48,000 active duty and civilian, 35,000 Guard and 22,000 U.S. Air Force Reserve Command Airmen. Together, they project and connect the joint force and ensures the strategic advantage.
"Without Air Mobility there is no meaningful maneuver — without Air Mobility there is no lethality. Without Air Mobility the Joint Force cannot project power and deliver deterrence,” AMC’s Commander Gen. Mike Minihan said. “The Nation's defense depends on Air Mobility."
AMC is the air component under the U.S. Transportation Command, providing an agile airlift force that can deliver, refuel, or transport within hours. They exemplified this urgency in 2022, when USTRANSCOM and AMC took the international stage, providing adaptive support to Ukraine.
“We proved that we can quickly and efficiently move massive amounts of equipment and materiel halfway across the world, while Russia struggled to effectively supply their troops just 75 miles from their border,” USTRANSCOM’s Commander Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost said in an interview with Joint Force Quarterly. “We make it look easy, but that’s because we work hard on building and strengthening that robust network of allies and partners, as well as our commercial capacity, that we can leverage in times of crisis.”
AMC’s fleet of heavy cargo aircraft makes the Defense Department’s rapid global mobility possible, comprising the C-130 Hercules, C-130J Super Hercules the C-17A Globemaster III and the C-5M Super Galaxy. Their combined versatility primarily provides the ability to deliver cargo anywhere in the world within 24 hours, whether via paved runway, dirt strip, or the middle of nowhere by airdrop.
AMC also uses in-flight refueling aircraft, which includes the KC-135 Stratotanker, KC-10 Extender and KC-46A Pegasus, to provide global reach with rapid, agile and resilient mobility effects through multiple domains and across the full spectrum of joint operations.
“Our adversaries are developing and employing technology to solve their logistics challenges,” Minihan outlined in his Mobility Manifesto, released last year. “Predictive algorithms, supply management systems, quantum computing, additive manufacturing — all increase logistics velocity and reduce demand. We should pursue the same.
“We, however, have a critical advantage: Mobility Airmen,” the document continues. “Given similar tools, a force that trusts, empowers and equips a thinking, creative force will dominate a military that controls and coerces its people. Our adversaries centralize. We will disperse with authorities, resources, decisions, actions, forces.”
Additional to the airframes, AMC performs aeromedical evacuation which ensures wounded warriors get the care they deserve and today have sustained the survival rate of 97%. In addition to enabling the force to respond to an enemy attack and sustain operations, Rapid Global Mobility brings humanitarian supplies and assistance to those in need.
“No other country in the world cares for our troops like the United States,” Van Ovost said. “No other country would move mountains to save the life of one, JUST ONE, wounded service member. And we do it without pause.”
AMC’s fourth core mission sets is its Global Air Mobility Support System, which was established in 2013. GAMSS is a logistics network of total force Mobility Airmen and capabilities necessary to project, connect, maneuver, and sustain combat power anywhere on the globe, from the ground up.