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Mobility Air Forces gather for week-long Phoenix Rally, focus on Great Power Competition

  • Published
  • By Air Mobility Command Public Affairs
  • AMC/PA

Gen. Mike Minihan, Air Mobility Command commander, and his wife, Ashley Minihan, convened their last Total Force Phoenix Rally here, April 29-May 3, 2024. Focused on Sustaining Irreversible Momentum for Great Power Competition, the event focused on resilience, the mobility roadmap, setting the theater, and Air Force reoptimization for Great Power Competition.

With over 300 total force senior leaders, wing commanders, command chiefs, and spouses in attendance, the event also provided a great opportunity for Total Force collaboration and integration.

“We are proud to be here representing your Reserve Forces. You have two Numbered Air Forces and 22 wings worth of Citizen Airmen that have been with AMC for the last 76 years,” said Maj. Gen. Derin Durham, 4th Air Force commander, in his opening comments. “And so, AMC is the Reserve…AMC does it best. We look forward to the future, we look forward to Great Power Competition and reoptimizing with the Air Force, and we’re ready to get after it.”

The first day included keynote speakers focused on leading in today’s operational environment, updating the force on AMC’s Warrior Heart focus, fighting burnout and quality of life initiatives.

“Hope is the number one indicator of well-being,” said Dr. Jannell MacAulay, human performance specialist and combat veteran. “Are you a hopeful leader? Are you creating space for that? Are you allowing it to naturally flow within your organization? Followers need hope now more than ever because there’s so much that is driving them down with burn-out, with stress and anxiety…be a hopeful leader. The spark that they need.”

After presenting their roadmap and ideas at last year’s Spring Phoenix Rally, the Warrior Mental Health working group provided updates and significant successes—including recent changes to Air Force policies that used to automatically remove operators from flying status if they sought mental health support.

“This team overturned policy that was enacted post-World War II. That cannot be underscored enough,” said Minihan. “There are people in this room that called me and said the individual’s ready, the commander supports it and the doctor’s screaming this person is ready to get back in the game and yet we were fighting policy for so many years. This is the team that got it fixed!”

The rest of the week transitioned focus to the command’s efforts to create irreversible momentum on the insights and gains from last year’s Mobility Guardian exercise. Focusing on lessons learned instead of lessons observed, the Command developed a 10-line initiative in the wake of MG23 focused on creating irreversible momentum in resourcing MAF connectivity; building upon the “gamechangers” such as maneuver battle management, palletized effects and maximum endurance operations; and adjustments to the employment of the Air Force Force Generation Model to make it work for the MAF.

With each Phoenix Rally building upon the last, this year’s event demonstrated significant advancement in MAF readiness, heightened focus on Great Power Competition and preparing the future force.

“Look at all the things we talked about as just prepping the battlefield,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jamie Newman, AMC command chief, to the audience. “We are preparing our Airmen and their families for the reality of the future. I love what AMC’s about. I love how we’re approaching these things. We’re taking it seriously and you, as commanders, are responsible for that readiness. The operational environment is changing, and we need you.”