U.S. forces must be able to provide a rapid, tailored response with a capability to intervene against a well-equipped foe, hit hard and terminate quickly. Rapid global mobility lies at the heart of U.S. strategy in this environment--without the capability to project forces, there is no conventional deterrent. As U.S. forces stationed overseas continue to decline, global interests remain, making the unique capabilities only AMC can provide even more in demand.
Air Mobiity Command also has the mission of establishing bare air bases in contingencies. To accomplish this mission, AMC established two Contingency Response Wings, and operates the Eagle Flag exercise.
AMC is the Air Force component of United States Transportation Command, and provides airlift, special missions, aerial refueling, and aeromedical evacuation for U.S. troops. It also provides alert aerial refueling aircraft to the United States Strategic Command, and is a provider of theater airlift, aerial refueling, and aeromedical evacuation forces to regional Unified Commands. AMC also operates VIP flights such as Air Force One.
Aircraft assets of the command include: C-17 Globemaster III, C-5 Galaxy, C-130 Hercules, KC-135 Stratotanker, and KC-10 Extender. Additional long-range airlift aircraft are available during national emergencies through the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, a fleet of commercial aircraft committed to support the transportation of military forces and material in times of crisis.
In addition to these active-duty and Air Force Reserve Command units, numerous Air National Guard Air Refueling Wings (ARW) and Airlift Wings (AW), equippred with C-5, KC-135 and C-130 aircraft are part of AMC. These units exercise frequently and are activated to federal service and deployed as part of AMC in Air Expeditionary Groups and Wings as directed by HQ AMC.
source for lineage, assignments, stations, components
AMC has undergone considerable change since its establishment. Focusing on the core mission of strategic air mobility, the command divested itself of infrastructure and forces not directly related to Global Reach. The Air Rescue Service, intratheater aeromedical airlift forces based overseas and much of the operational support airlift fleet were transferred to other commands. However, KC-10 Extender and most KC-135 Stratotanker air refueling aircraft initially assigned to Air Combat Command were transferred to AMC, along with Grand Forks AFB, McConnell AFB and Fairchild AFB.
As a result of the Global War on Terrorism, on 1 Oct 2003, AMC underwent a major restructuring, bringing a war fighting role to its numbered air force. AMC reactivated Eighteenth Air Force (18 AF) and established it as its main war fighting force. As subordinate components of 18 AF, AMC redesignated its two former numbered air forces as Expeditionary Mobility Task Forces (EMTF). Fifteenth Air Force was redesignated as the 15th Expeditionary Mobility Task Force, headquartered at Travis AFB, and Twenty-First Air Force was redesignated as the 21st Expeditionary Mobility Task Force (21 EMTF), headquartered at McGuire AFB.
AMC's ability to provide global reach is tested daily. From providing fuel, supplies and aeromedical support to troops on the frontline of the Global War on Terrorism, to providing humanitarian supplies to hurricane, flood, and earthquake victims both at home and abroad, AMC has been engaged in almost nonstop operations since its inception. Command tankers and airlifters have supported peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Cambodia, Somalia, Rwanda and Haiti, and continue to play a vital role in the ongoing Global War on Terrorism. These many examples of the effective application of non-lethal air power indicate that air mobility is a national asset of growing importance for responding to emergencies and protecting national interests around the globe.