News>Expeditionary Center formally assumes command of five Air Mobility Command units
Lt. Gen. Robert Allardice, 18th Air Force commander, addresses the crowd prior to the transer of command of five Air Mobility Command units to the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center during a re-alignment ceremony at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. Jan. 6. The Expeditionary Center assumed command of five former 18th Air Force units as part of re-structuring within Air Mobility Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Veuril McDavid/Released)
Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Cui, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center command chief master sergeant, replaces the 18th Air Force flag with the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center flag during a re-alignment ceremony at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. Jan. 6. The Expeditionary Center assumed command of five former 18th Air Force units as part of re-structuring within Air Mobility Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wilson/Released)
by Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wilson
U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center
1/7/2011 - JOINT BASE McGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- Expeditionary Center formally assumes command of five Air Mobility Command units
The U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center assumed command of five Air Mobility Command organizations during a ceremony here Jan 6. The AMC restructuring allows 18th Air Force to focus almost exclusively on worldwide mobility flying operations and gives the Expeditionary Center added responsibility for focusing on evolving AMC mission sets. These include expeditionary combat support training and installation support missions unique to three Joint Bases within the Command, as well as at two AMC bases where missions are evolving as a result of previous Base Realignment and Closure decisions.
The ceremony, officiated by Lt. Gen. Robert Allardice, 18th AF commander, marked the re-alignment by reading official organizational change orders, with the commanders and command chiefs of the affected units in attendance.
Making the transition from 18th AF are the 87th Air Base Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., the 628th ABW at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., the 627th Air Base Group at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., the 43rd Airlift Wing at Pope Air Force Base, N.C, and the 319th Air Refueling Wing at Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
Brig. Gen. Bill Bender, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center commander, noted the realignment would go largely unnoticed by the majority of those Airmen impacted, adding the Expeditionary Center will gain 13 additional manpower authorizations as a result of the Center's expanded responsibilities.
"As the commander of the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center, I am proud and honored the Center is being given this unique opportunity to contribute to the growing mission of Air Mobility Command. We are serving in a special period of our Nation and Air Force's history, a time when we must be prepared to accomplish both today's assigned missions and those we may be assigned in the future, so I'm thrilled to welcome all of our new Airmen, civilians and family members into this organization."
Prior to the realignment, 18th AF was the largest Numbered Air Force in the AF with 19 direct reporting units, over 53,000 personnel, and a geographic area spanning the globe. As Air Mobility Command's mission continues to expand and programmatic decisions already in place drive the demand for expeditionary combat support, building partnerships and base opening capabilities, the Command's organization structure also continues to evolve. In his remarks, General Allardice said "This realignment intends to better position AMC to successfully carry out its current mission and meet future challenges."
As demands continue to increase for expeditionary Airmen, General Bender said the demand for the Center's expeditionary and mobility core training competencies is also growing.
"Here at the Center, we continue to develop courses and increase our capacity to meet the growing demands of combatant commanders engaged in the conflicts we're facing today. Training and readiness remains the EC's primary focus here at Joint Base MDL."
The U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center is the Air Force's center of excellence for mobility and expeditionary combat support training, including ground combat operations and contingency response training, among more than 72 in-residence courses offered at the Center. Key to the realignment, according to AMC leadership, is that the Center will continue to provide the same high quality training to Airmen and sister service students as in the past.