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Total Force leaders discuss MAF’s future at 2021 Phoenix Rally

U.S. Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, Air Mobility Command commander, gives opening remarks with U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Brian Kruzelnick, AMC command chief, during Total Force Phoenix Rally, April 20, 2021, at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center headquarters on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. The event allows leadership across the Total Force Mobility Air Forces to discuss their perspectives and how they support AMC’s priorities: develop the force, advance warfighting capabilities, project the joint force and ensure strategic deterrence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ashley Hyatt)

U.S. Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, Air Mobility Command commander, gives opening remarks with U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Brian Kruzelnick, AMC command chief, during Total Force Phoenix Rally, April 20, 2021, at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center headquarters on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. The event allows leadership across the Total Force Mobility Air Forces to discuss their perspectives and how they support AMC’s priorities: develop the force, advance warfighting capabilities, project the joint force and ensure strategic deterrence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ashley Hyatt)

Christopher Leonard, 423rd Mobility Training Squadron Rapid Global Mobility Course instructor, explains what students learn during RGMC to Total Force Mobility Air Forces leadership during Total Force Phoenix Rally, April 21, 2021, at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center headquarters on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Operations School instructors were given the opportunity to showcase how they contribute to AMC and its mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ashley Hyatt)

Christopher Leonard, 423rd Mobility Training Squadron Rapid Global Mobility Course instructor, explains what students learn during RGMC to Total Force Mobility Air Forces leadership during Total Force Phoenix Rally, April 21, 2021, at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center headquarters on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Operations School instructors were given the opportunity to showcase how they contribute to AMC and its mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ashley Hyatt)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Messina, 423rd Mobility Training Squadron operations intelligence analyst, shows Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, AMC commander, a threat trainer system that Mobility Air Forces Intelligence Formal Training Unit students utilize during the course, April 21, 2021, at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center headquarters on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. (U.S. Air Force photo by Air Mobility Command)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Messina, 423rd Mobility Training Squadron operations intelligence analyst, shows Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, Air Mobility Command commander, a threat trainer system that Mobility Air Forces Intelligence Formal Training Unit students utilize during the course, April 21, 2021, at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center headquarters on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. (U.S. Air Force photo by Air Mobility Command)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Reinitz, 423rd Mobility Training Squadron Aerial Port Expeditor instructor, explains how aerial porters utilize simulators for training to Total Force Mobility Air Forces (TF MAF) leadership during Total Force Phoenix Rally, April 21, 2021, at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center headquarters on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Operations School instructors were given the opportunity to showcase their contributions to leadership throughout TF MAF. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ashley Hyatt)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Reinitz, 423rd Mobility Training Squadron Aerial Port Expeditor instructor, explains how aerial porters utilize simulators for training to Total Force Mobility Air Forces (TF MAF) leadership during Total Force Phoenix Rally, April 21, 2021, at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center headquarters on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Operations School instructors were given the opportunity to showcase their contributions to leadership throughout TF MAF. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ashley Hyatt)

Phoenix Raven Qualification Course instructors assigned to the 421st Combat Training Squadron demonstrate how to neutralize a threat to Total Force Mobility Air Forces leadership during Total Force Phoenix Rally, April 21, 2021, at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center headquarters on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Operations School instructors were given the opportunity to highlight how they contribute to AMC at its mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ashley Hyatt)

Phoenix Raven Qualification Course instructors assigned to the 421st Combat Training Squadron demonstrate how to neutralize a threat to Total Force Mobility Air Forces leadership during Total Force Phoenix Rally, April 21, 2021, at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center headquarters on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Operations School instructors were given the opportunity to highlight how they contribute to AMC at its mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ashley Hyatt)

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- Total Force Air Mobility Command leaders met physically and virtually to discuss the Command’s focus on the high-end fight at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center, New Jersey, April 20-22, for AMC’s first in-person Phoenix Rally since October 2019.

Leadership discussions focused on a host of issues required to compete and win including digital warfare, decision superiority, information dominance, and the ability to make data-driven decisions at all echelons at the speed of strategic relevance.

“The senior airmen and captains now, will be the leaders in the 2030 fight,” said Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, AMC commander. “It’s on you at the wings and us on the staff to train and develop them to be successful in that environment.”

In order to help the Joint Force succeed in great power competition, leaders must harness Airmen’s enthusiasm for innovation and technology and empower them to pursue their ideas, said Van Ovost.

Leaders also discussed a variety of initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion, Airmen resiliency and countering possible extremism within the ranks.

“This command is built on a foundation of connectedness, where we must respect and value the contributions of every member,” said Chief Master Sgt. Brian Kruzelnick, AMC command chief. “Culture is foundational and we have to get it right, from diversity and inclusion, to digital competencies, talent management and total force integration. Doing so will make or break our success.”

Rally participants received a short tour of the USAF EC with Airmen providing briefings and demonstrations on its diverse mission sets and ways Airmen are reimagining what en-route support looks like when projecting the Joint Force.

“We are accelerating our capabilities in power projection and mission assurance,” said Van Ovost. “From the development of a new force generation model, to a more resilient and survivable Global Air Mobility Support System, to the tactical execution of distributed operations with agile combat employment and multi-capable Airmen. Bottom line: Mobility Airmen are facing the threats and challenges head on with innovative solutions that will count where the rubber meets the road.”

Many agreed that the long-awaited opportunity to meet in person allowed for a free flow of ideas and discussions.

“I really appreciate how this year’s Phoenix Rally is structured,” said Col John Schutte, 19th Airlift Wing commander at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. “The discussions not only offer an invaluable opportunity for leaders to talk face-to-face on shared challenges and successes, it is extremely helpful to start the conversation by establishing what we’re trying to solve and why the challenge must be addressed. Most importantly, each discussion culminated in an opportunity for command teams to offer their diverse perspectives and inputs.”

“Rally offered a much-needed face-to-face opportunity for Total Force mobility leaders to collaborate on tough issues we’re facing across the MAF,” added Col. Craig McPike, 49th Airlift Wing commander at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia. “With the Active Reserve Component playing such a crucial role in mobility operations, I really appreciated the invitation from AMC leaders to participate in these important discussions.”

Van Ovost concluded the week by recognizing the contributions of all the wings across the mobility enterprise.

“It is an honor of a lifetime representing you everywhere I go,” said Van Ovost. “I’m proud of the leadership and vision each of you bring to your wings. We’ve made significant strides forward, but we still have some tough challenges in front of us. The great news is our Airmen have the best leadership teams guiding and empowering them.”

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