Joint partnerships are a key priority for Air Mobility Command and Air Mobility Liaison Officers are essential pieces in providing this joint capability.
“AMLOs are rated mobility officers aligned with Army and Marine Corps units who are specially trained to implement the theater air control system and advise on control of airlift assets,” said Lt. Col. Jay Weaver, 621st Mobility Support Operations Squadron commander. “Additionally, they provide expertise on the efficient use of air mobility assets. The 621st MSOS is a global squadron encompassing 20 operating locations across 14 time zones.”
Capt. Michael Deck, 621st MSOS AMLO assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, participated in Exercise Guardian Shield where they completed several training events.
“We provide that landing zone safety officers capability,” said Deck. “So when the C-17s or the helicopters come in, we can provide air traffic control capabilities to [deliver] safety advisories to make sure they’re safe when they’re landing and conducting their joint operations.”
It’s important for AMLOs to participate in exercises like Guardian Shield for training and readiness. This experience allows AMLOs to train and gain proficiency in their tactical roles such as Drop Zone Control Officer and Landing Zone Safety Officer, said Weaver.
“We provide joint capabilities,” said Deck. “We advise and assist the Army with air mobility topics. We coordinate airlift, we work with their logistics and operations and we can help them integrate their deployments or operations with air mobility assets.”
Although an AMLO’s focus is their tactical roles such as DZCO and LZSO they also have the capability to complete other missions as necessary.
“All of us are rated Air Force officers in AMC, pilots or navigators who are actively flying air mobility aircraft but we can provide capabilities like integrating opportunities with the Army,” said Deck. “When the Army or Air Force needs to drop equipment in, we can provide that safety capability. We’re pretty much a jack-of-all-trades.”
Their squadron continues to operate through the COVID-19 environment and exercises like Guardian Shield allow them to get after training objectives so they can sustain a high level of readiness, said Weaver.
“With joint operations involving both the Army and the Air Force it can make what would be a benign training opportunity an excellent one,” Deck concludes.
It also provides the unique opportunity to work alongside their fellow contingency response squadrons and Joint partners where they share ideas, learn from each other and see how the various mission sets complement each other, added Weaver.