Happy Holidays, Mobility Warriors!

By Gen Mike Minihan, Commander, Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, IL

The holiday season provides a perfect time of year to take a knee. However, I recognize that as our mission never stops, many Mobility Warriors are either deployed or out getting the mission done this holiday season. To those away answering the call of duty, I offer heartfelt thanks to you and your families for continued sacrifices. For those able to be home this holiday season, I hope you take advantage of the time to reflect and rest while closing out a truly historic year.

Reflecting on 2021 reveals a year unlike any other in Air Mobility Command. I am honored to join this team, and I look forward to building on the incredible feats going forward!

Gen Mike Minihan

You led the charge for the nation in executing the largest non-combatant evacuation operation in U.S. history. More than 124,000 American citizens and at-risk Afghans airlifted off a single airfield—a single runway—in only 17 days. We engaged every facet of our Rapid Global Mobility mission to get it done—Airlift, Air Refueling, Aeromedical Evacuation, Global Air Mobility Support, and Command and Control. There is simply no other force on earth capable of such power projection and agility. Our nation and the world watched in awe as you professionals executed an instant classic in the distinguished annals of Air Mobility history and then followed it up with compassionate care to bring those evacuees to their final destinations.

And while the overall result was an incredible triumph, there are always lessons we must study to improve, learn, and convert our hard-fought experiences into future successes. I am proud beyond measure of the fantastic execution during Operations ALLIES REFUGE and ALLIES WELCOME and the diligence in bringing forth the lessons learned to grow a stronger, more capable force.

We must also allow ourselves time to rest following a year of demanding operations and surges executing Mobility Guardian, Afghanistan to Zero, and finally, the historic NEO (Noncombatant Evacuation Operations) while simultaneously delivering hope following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti, a hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast, and wildfires across the western United States. Rest, recovery, and reconstitution ensure the energy required to meet the challenges ahead safely and effectively. I am fully aware of the extraordinary conditions our crews operated under in unprecedented situations this past year. In our line of work, safety can never be first, but it is ever-present in our minds to mitigate risk and ensure future readiness.

As we look forward to 2022 and beyond, there are clear challenges which we must attack head-on. A rising and increasingly aggressive pacing competitor, China, continues to attempt to mold the international rules-based order only to benefit them. Readiness and focus on Strategic Competition has never been more critical, and as we look forward to 2022 and beyond, we will meet those challenges together. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s call to Accelerate Change or Lose endures. We will answer that call by keeping our nation’s Rapid Global Mobility
force ready and able to project American power and win…anytime, anywhere…Let’s go!