Ensuring Rapid Global Mobility For Mission-Critical Supply

Gen. Maryanne Miller
Air Mobility Command

From Armor & Mobility, July/August 2019 Issue

Gen. Maryanne Miller is the Commander, Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. AMC’s mission is to provide rapid, global mobility and sustainment for America’s armed forces. The command also plays a crucial role in providing humanitarian support at home and around the world. The men and women of AMC, consisting of active duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and civilians, provide airlift, aerial refueling, special air mission, aeromedical evacuation and mobility support. As the Air Component Commander for U.S. Transportation Command, General Miller is responsible for directing global air mobility operations in support of national objectives.

General Miller was commissioned in 1981 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at Ohio State University. She is a command pilot with more than 4,800 flying hours in numerous aircraft.

The general has commanded two wings and held numerous staff leadership positions on the Air Staff and the Joint Staff. Prior to her current assignment, she was the Chief of Air Force Reserve, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Virginia, and Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Georgia.

A&M had the opportunity to speak with Gen. Maryanne Miller, AMC Commander, regarding current and newer initiatives being driven by a global Air Force/Joint DoD mission set.

A&M: Please provide some focus as to your role as AMC commander and present AMC mission.

Gen. Miller: I have the great honor and privilege of leading the incredible men and women of Air Mobility Command, the world leader in rapid, large-scale, global military operations. We have been trusted with ensuring national security objectives on a global scale, projecting agile power through airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and global air mobility support. Our Airmen pride themselves in their exceptional ability to deliver the right effects, to the right place, at the right time.

The demand for Rapid Global Mobility is steadily increasing, and our future requirements are rapidly expanding. While AMC has been primarily focused on delivering manpower and material assets, our mission is continuously expanding across multiple domains. We must develop unmatched capabilities that enable access and freedom of maneuver in some of the most contested global environments – in air, space and cyberspace. We must move at the speed of war.

A&M: With regard to current Air Force materiel support priorities, what are some of AMC’s target efforts?

Gen. Miller: As Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said, “we are a global power because of global reach.” AMC is a big part of that global reach building American strength against our adversaries and American hope in support of our partners. Mobility Airmen deliver capabilities to those warfighters who depend on them, and they can do it at a moment’s notice.

Approximately every three minutes, an AMC aircraft takes off somewhere around the world providing airlift, aerial refueling or aeromedical evacuation support to the Joint force. Since the beginning of 2019, we moved more than 97,000 passengers and nearly 124 million pounds of cargo in strategic and intra-theater missions supporting fellow warfighters in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

Looking forward, AMC must be ready to operate in any contested environment. We are constantly developing our assets, capabilities and, most importantly, our people, to meet the challenges we face as a nation in an environment of great power competition.

A&M: Can you provide a KC-46A status update? How is AMC integrating the aircraft into the fleet?

Gen. Miller: Since integrating the first KC-46A Pegasus into our fleet this past January at McConnell AFB, KS, the Air Force has received 10 more at both McConnell AFB and at Air Education and Training Command (AETC)’s Formal Training Unit Altus AFB, OK. The delivery of all 179 KC-46s to the Mobility Air Forces (MAFs) should be complete by 2029. Operational ground testing started in May at McConnell with flight testing beginning as of June 2019.

AMC will use a phased approach when integrating the Pegasus into our inventory. As we transition to operating the KC-46A, we will divest our legacy fleet, while maintaining maximum air refueling capacity and capability for the warfighter. In 2029, the Air Force’s air refueling fleet will consist of the KC-46 and KC-135.

A&M: From a sustainment standpoint, talk about how AMC is addressing USAF fleet maintenance in terms of predictive and proactive processes.

Gen. Miller: We’ve recently adopted the Condition-Based Maintenance Plus (CBM+) approach to managing fleet readiness. This is a predictive approach that aims to convert unscheduled maintenance to scheduled maintenance. The approach leverages both sensors, providing information on parts stress and performance and historical maintenance data. This approach will be a culture change, but we believe it will enhance AMC’s ability to keep promises to those warfighters who depend on us, while also saving time and money. We anticipate this approach will reduce unnecessary “churn” in the maintenance process by addressing repairs before an aircraft has to be halted for unscheduled maintenance. Our maintainers work hard to meet increasing demand for air mobility capabilities. We believe this Air Force-wide approach will yield the benefits needed to keep our aircraft moving without over-straining our world-class maintenance teams.

CBM+ has already proven successful through initial test phases at Travis AFB, California, and MacDill AFB, Florida. We have high expectations for enterprise-wide integration across the Mobility Air Forces.

A&M: How does Air Mobility Command seek to manage the challenges of future warfighting?

Gen. Miller: Our mission has not changed: We deliver rapid global mobility in contested domains anywhere anytime. The ways and means of executing our mission must evolve in big and small ways based on the threats we face. We must become faster and smarter. For this, I am relying on our greatest advantage – our Airmen.

Innovation is foundational to solving the threats inherent within contested domains. The challenges of the fight are ever-changing and our Airmen have to be able to prevail by rapidly adjusting to address a variety of threat vectors impacting our mission accomplishment.

We have some of the most skilled and creative members in our force. I’m asking our Airmen to propose solutions to problems that frustrate them each day, the problems they know best how to solve. I continue to be amazed by their ability to solve problems, while taking calculated risks. They are taking matters into their own hands, writing code, creating prototypes and finding solutions that save our Air Force time, money and, sometimes, lives. It is these Airmen that I trust to usher Air Mobility Command into the future of warfighting. It is these Airmen that execute my vision of Air Mobility Warriors – projecting decisive strength across contested domains and delivering hope … always!