97 AMW hosts MAF Competency Summit to focus on future fight

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Trenton Jancze
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from Air Mobility Command and Air Education and Training Command gathered at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma for the first Mobility Air Force Competency Summit Jan. 24-26, 2023.

During the summit, attendees discussed the realignment of aircrew training to best prepare pilots, loadmasters and boom operators for the future fight.

“Mobility Air Force” is a term used to describe a total-force effort to execute global mobility and reach anywhere in the world in a matter of hours through four core mission areas - airlift, air refueling, air mobility support and aeromedical evacuation.

While MAF has primarily operated in the Middle East for the past 20 years, Gen. Mike Minihan, AMC commander, and Lt. Gen. Brian Robinson, AETC commander, directed MAF leaders to review and restructure the training pipeline in order to face modern, emerging challenges.

“At a fundamental level, we’re looking at what we do as a MAF and how we train,” said Lt. Col. Teddy Boyd, 56th Air Refueling Squadron commander. “We made a list of items that our aircraft have to be able to perform in order to be successful, as well as how we train those and bring the total force up to that training level.”   

During the summit, Airmen participated in breakout sessions to discuss topics like combat mission competencies, agile combat employment, what knowledge is required to succeed, what skills can be used to reinforce learning and what experiences are needed to solidify what Airmen learn.

“One of the takeaways was having face-to-face conversations that we typically don’t have on a day-to-day basis,” said Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Vondohlen, 56th ARS superintendent. “Our mission here [at Altus AFB] is training, not to be in these strategic talks about where our aircrew force is going in the future. Having exposure to that and having those conversations was an important takeaway though.”

The summit concluded with an outbrief including 18th AF commander Maj. Gen. Corey Martin and 19th AF commander Maj. Gen. Phillip Stewart.

Boyd said the talks during the summit should build a solid foundation for changes in the future.

“Takeaway number one, all the experts we’ve brought together fully support what we’ve got,” he said. “Number two, 18th Air Force and 19th Air Force commanders were in full support as well… I would say [this summit] will have far(-reaching) implications for the next many years and I am proud of what we’ve done here.”