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OP ED 19 AW Role in National Defense Based on New Strategy

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

Our Airmen are busier than ever and remain dedicated to our mission. On average, every three minutes a Mobility Air Forces aircraft takes off at some location across the world ensuring America’s Air Force is always there, and our 19th Airlift Wing Airmen contribute to this astounding feat. In 2017, we launched over 1,750 missions to support a variety of requests, fully utilizing our capabilities. In executing such missions, both here at home and abroad, we support the objectives laid out in the National Defense Strategy. We sustain Joint Force military advantages, deter adversaries from acting against our vital interests, defend allies from military aggression and bolster partners against coercion, and prevent as well as deter state adversaries in addition to non-state actors.

 

Our impact globally through our "Gray Tail Diplomacy" was demonstrated in 2017 during Team Little Rock’s humanitarian relief efforts in Peru, Puerto Rico, and Texas, as our aircraft with the American flag on their tails brought our American values, hope, and dedication to people both here and abroad. The 19th Airlift Wing's ability to project and sustain agile Combat Airlift on a global scale supports not only "Gray Tail Diplomacy," but allows our nation to seamlessly integrate multiple elements of national power as well as integrate with both government and non-government agencies, key aspects of our current National Defense Strategy.

 

It is clear that in our future, the mobility capability will be valued for both defense and humanitarian missions. Because of its agility and flexibility, the capabilities provided by the mobility forces ensure our country is ready now, as well as in the future, for any challenge. These capabilities ensure that our country is able to keep a Global Operating Model, the ability to posture and employ our Joint Force to achieve our mission.

 

In our focus on delivering combat airlift, which provides many key pieces of military readiness and ensures sustained full-spectrum readiness across our force, we ensure that our Air Force and our military remain an agile and lethal force. Through training with our Army partners as well as those from partner nations in exercises like Green Flag Little Rock and Mobility Guardian, we improve our interoperability and alliances, combining our forces so they can join together coherently and effectively to achieve military objectives, a key line of effort within our National Defense Strategy.

 

As our world today grows increasingly complex, so too does the security environment in which we live. We must not accept the status quo or complacency, nor rest upon our laurels or accomplishments. We must continue to further develop and refine our force to ensure we remain agile, effective, resilient, and innovative. Our Unified Team of Professional Airmen Renowned for Combat Airlift, Today and Tomorrow is ready for any future problem or challenge, and will continue to support not only our wing and MAJCOM priorities but our nation’s defense.