Over the past 11 years, Reservists and Guardsmen have routinely demonstrated their capabilities span far beyond the activities accomplished during monthly drills. By continually answering their nationâ€™s call to duty and effectively executing mission taskings, they have boosted their reputation with senior Department of Defense leadership. By increasing mission capacity, members have inspired a movement that has cemented their standing as an essential component of the U.S. Militaryâ€™s Total Force Integration, a relatively new model of force structure.
The re-activation of the Airlift Squadron to the 730th, June 13, a reserve squadron now located on Altus AFB, Okla., exemplified the TFI plan by integrating reserve and active forces. This new unit will create a synergy among uniformed personnel, resulting in a more capable and efficient organization, while maximizing tax dollars and training opportunities.
â€œAfter the roll out is completed in Afghanistan, changes will need to be made to our infrastructure. In order to be efficient, we must find ways to consolidate our missions and economies,â€ said Brig. Gen. Karl McGregor, 452d Air Mobility Wing commander. â€œWe will do this by â€œright-sizingâ€ and combining our resources.â€
The 730th AMTS, assigned to the 452d Operations Group, March Air Reserve Base, Calif., in concert with the 97th Air Mobility Wing (active-duty), under the Air Education and Training Command, Tinker AFB, Okla., will operate C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft. Students from active-duty Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and more than 15 foreign countries will attending the training, comprised of more than 20 courses.
The squadronâ€™s vision is to provide unrivaled, full-partnered integration in education and training, while lending strategic and operational capabilities to Total Force Initiatives. They will accomplish this by organizing, training and equipping strategic airlift whenever called upon.
â€œAt this particular period of time, leveraging the Reserve component has never been more important, especially at the top of senior leadersâ€™ minds within the Pentagon, the Department of Defense and all the way up to the Administration,â€ said Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr., chief of Air Force Reserve and commander of Air Force Reserve Command. â€œWeâ€™re poised both as the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard to become a bigger piece of this nationâ€™s defense.â€
The 730th was selected by Lt Gen. Stenner to re-activate because of its history as the first associated reserve squadron, meaning it was the first reserve squadron placed alongside an active-duty squadron. This association began in March 1968.
General McGregor presided over the re-activation ceremony stating, â€œThis is the first reserve unit serving at an Air Mobility Command school house and it is expected to merge with the active duty Airmen seamlessly,â€ said McGregor.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Philebaum, commander, 730th AMTS, said he will strive to continue the squadronâ€™s distinguished heritage that dates from 1943 to 2005, flying combat and humanitarian missions from more than a dozen bases around the world, such as Japan and South Korea.
â€œAs our illustrious lineage indicates, we are committed to the people, the mission, and this partnership. As stated in the Airmenâ€™s Creed, â€˜We will not failâ€™,â€ said Philebaum.
Unit members, family, friends along with more than 20 alumni were on hand to attend the formal ceremony and celebrate this milestone while witnessing the former 730th Airlift Squadron transform into the 730th AMTS.
Master Sgt. (Ret.) Craig Spencer was the 730th AS first sgt. for about 20 years. â€œItâ€™s so nice to see something I was a part of for so long continue to achieve greater success,â€ said Spencer.
â€œWe are on our way and itâ€™s going to be a good journey, said General Stenner. â€œIâ€™m very happy with the leadership that we have, from the top to the bottom. Weâ€™ll continue to get better if we can walk down the road of building a team of the future.â€
Stenner said the communication between the two commands (AETC and AFRC) has been great, which allows them to move forward together and be more efficient as a training enterprise.
In recent years, TFI has proven to be the formula for success, with exceedingly high rates of mission effectiveness throughout areas of responsibility. This formula has since been applied to every day missions of the Air Force, as the Total Force works together to accomplish the objectives set forth by combatant commanders while training the way they fight â€” together.