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NEWS | Nov. 23, 2022

Team Charleston demonstrates warfighting capabilities, resilience initiatives during AMC commander visit

By Airman 1st Class Christian Silvera 628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Minihan, commander of Air Mobility Command, Chief Master Sgt. Brian Kruzelnick, AMC command chief, and their spouses visited Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, Nov. 20-22, 2022.

Minihan’s visit began with breakfast, where he talked with Airmen from the 628th Air Base Wing and 437th Airlift Wing.

Following breakfast, he presided over a Distinguished Flying Cross ceremony, awarding 51 DFCs to mobility Airmen for their exceptional accomplishments during Operation Allies Refuge, the Afghanistan evacuation. The ceremony was the largest of its kind in decades.

“While this is the fourth highest medal and certainly the highest for flying, it still falls short of thanking these patriots for what they did in those 17 days during OAR,” Minihan said.

Afterward, Minihan met with Airmen to discuss the advancement of rapid global mobility capabilities, current and future initiatives contributing to the efficiency of the mission, and concepts like agile combat employment and multi-capable Airmen.

The AMC command team watched a live E-Drill demonstration, which is an electro-discharge machining technology that utilizes a force-less process to remove hard-metal fasteners in seconds. The 437th Maintenance Squadron fabrication flight explained the functions, cost savings, and safety benefits of the E-drill, compared to conventional drills.

In addition to seeing how certain technology plays a critical role in strengthening mobility warfighting capabilities, the 437th Aerial Port Squadron briefed the AMC command team on new initiatives and how using technology like iPads can further enhance those capabilities.

“You guys are the original multi-capable airmen,” Minihan said, referring to the 437th APS. “You guys are the original ‘agile combat employment,’ and I can’t think of a team that better describes what everyone else in the Air Force needs to step up to.”

Toward the end of their visit, the AMC command team met with some of the Airmen involved in the Afghanistan evacuation, to more intimately discuss their experience and what it means to have a warrior heart.

“We have the most coveted NCO corps in the world,” Kruzelnick said. “There’s no enlisted force that can do what you do. They can duplicate our aircraft but not your critical thinking, not your self-confidence, and your ability to win.”

The AMC command team also recognized a multitude of star performers. Supervisors nominated these Airmen for performing above and beyond in their primary duties.

“You are the backbone of the mobility force,” Kruzelnick said to the star performers. “Meeting the Airmen here has been exciting because you do not hesitate when it comes to the mission. You just deliver and I’m proud of you.”