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Pope demonstrates rapid global mobility

U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, wait for takeoff on a C-17 Globemaster III during Battalion Mass Tactical Week, or BMTW, at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina, Jan. 31, 2022. BMTW is a joint exercise between the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army, which gives participants the ability to practice contingency operations in a controlled environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Charles Casner)

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POPE ARMY AIR FIELD, N.C. — The 43rd Air Mobility Operations Group at Pope Army Air Field is a small U.S. Air Force presence on the U.S. Army’s Fort Liberty. However, just as a small cotter pin can serve a pivotal function on an aircraft, the 43rd AMOG serves as a vital power projection platform for the United States of America. When joint partners require rapid global mobility, the men and women of the 43rd AMOG step in to prepare personnel and assets for airlift missions.


During a visit to Pope AAF on Nov. 1, 2023, Maj. Gen. John Klein, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Courtney Freeman, USAFEC command chief, had the opportunity to speak with Airmen who demonstrated their ability to keep air mobility in motion.


“We try to get as much of their cargo airlift ready as we can before it hits the joint inspection line,” Senior Airman Michael Karam, 621st Mobility Support Operations Squadron Expeditionary Air Ground Liaison Element team instructor, said about their support to the U.S. Army. “We’re here to reduce friction.”


Karam was one of several EAGLE team members that converged at Pope AAF with little notice.


“I was sitting at my desk working at 3 p.m. one day, and at 9 p.m. I was here at Pope,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher McCloud, 621st MSOS EAGLE member. “It’s been a great opportunity to use all of my training.”


The rapid response these Airmen provide are often in support of missions that garner national attention.


“If there’s anything on the news that needs airlift, guaranteed we’re going to be behind it,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremy Bath, 621st MSOS EAGLE member.


The Soldiers of Fort Liberty also noted the critical role Airmen play in preparing Army personnel for forward movements from Pope.


“The coordination and cooperation with the Air Force team, all the way down to getting assets and fuel on airplanes, has been critical,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Dan Krueger, 18th Airborne Corps chief of outload. “It has enabled us to quickly put power into the appropriate areas of responsibility.”


The USAFEC commander and command chief took the opportunity to remind  Airmen at Pope that their actions support military commander objectives and provide decision space for policy makers that require leverage on behalf of U.S. interests around the globe.


“The mobility machine is up and running,” said Klein. “You demonstrated rapid global mobility, and put things in places that delivered a very strong message.”


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