Reserve command commits to European, African areas of operation

  • Published
  • By Capt. Davina Petermann
  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe Public Affairs
In a coordinated effort between U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Air Mobility Command and the Air Force Reserve Command, USAFE will now have two dedicated C-17s that can provide direct support for strategic airlift requirements in the European and African areas of operation, as well as other world wide missions.

The 446th Airlift Wing, McChord Air Force Base, Wash., will join in this new rotation starting January 2009.

"This is the first time anything like this has ever been done," said Tech. Sgt. Cameron Davis, Air and Space Operations Center, Air Mobility Division, Airlift Requirements NCOIC.

Getting the C-17 rotational airlift mission up and running here took a total force effort. The Air Force Reserve Command provided the aircrews, as well as a mission commander, noncommissioned officer in charge and crew chief on a rotational basis.

"This is an actual deployment with UTCs (unit type codes) and a deployment time," explained Lt. Col. David Pavey, the 446th Operations Group commander.

"We married up with our sister unit, the 62nd Operations Group's AEF rotation. They'll be in the Southwest Asia theater during that rotation and we'll be in Ramstein," he said.

According to Sergeant Davis, the biggest advantage to this arrangement is the ability to prioritize using a theater perspective as opposed to a global perspective. "By doing it this way, we ensure the missions that are important to us have a voice and don't have to compete with world-wide missions."

"U.S. European Command will prioritize the airlift mission requirements and then give those to us," Sergeant Davis said. "Then we will work with the Tanker Airlift Control Center and the customer to make the mission happen."

"It's a different way for us to do missions. It puts us closer to our primary mission, because a good portion of our missions are overseas," said Colonel Pavey.

"All of the Reservists are here on a volunteer basis, not as mobilized Reservists," said Lt. Col. James Fryer, the 732nd Airlift Squadron commander out of McGuire AFB, NJ. "Our unit was tasked with the first rotation since it was our AEF bucket, but we all volunteered to come."

While here, aircrews and aircraft will be assigned to the 779th Expeditionary Airlift Flight and provide dedicated and timely global airlift in support of the USEUCOM mission, and to augment the global mobility fleet.

"This allows the 446th to actively participate in the AEF process, in supporting a combatant commander in the global war on terrorism," said Colonel Pavey. (Tech. Sgt. Jake Chappelle, 446th AW Public Affairs, contributed to this report)