SCOTT AFB, Ill.-- While aerial refueling and airlift are often the most well-known Rapid Global Mobility avenues, another lesser-known option is the use of pre-stablished en-route locations.
Air Mobility Command sustains 42 en-route locations around the globe through the use of a complex system of channels. These channels enable transport of personnel and worldwide cargo from location to location to sustain the joint warfighter.
“Our Air Mobility Operations Wing locations are essentially AMC’s power projection platforms around the world,” said Brig. Gen. Johnny Lamontagne, 618th Air Operations Center commander. “The 618th Air Operations Center develops structured routes, schedules airlift missions and ensures successful channel system performance to sustain all nine Combatant Commands around the world.”
The 618 AOC is AMC’s primary execution arm. They are responsible for planning, tasking, executing and assessing approximately 500 sorties a day. Sixty percent of these sorties are categorized as channel missions.
“There are two types of channel missions: contingency and distribution,” said Christopher Wren, 618th AOC, chief of commercial and offshore channel operations. “Contingency channels support enduring contingency operations moving sustainment cargo and passengers on a scheduled basis between two or more locations. Distribution channels support day-to-day airlift requirements to include transport of rations, blood, household goods, construction material, commissary items, and more.”
The Global Channel Operations Directorate (XOG) works hand-in-hand with AMC aerial ports, and en route locations, as well as mobility management, command and control, current operations and global readiness functions to meet the sustainment movement requirements of U.S. Transportation Command and Air Mobility Command customers.
Transportation of rations is one example of these critical sustainment missions. The Pacific channel route which begins at Travis Air Force Base, California uploads or downloads personnel and cargo which is then then transported to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska; Yokota Air Base, Japan; Paya Lebar AB, Singapore; and end at Navy Support Facility, Diego Garcia. Critical day-to-day sustainment such as rations can be sourced from Paya Lebar AB for transport to joint personnel at Diego Garcia.
From Aug 2017 to Aug 2018, XOG planned, tasked and executed transportation of approximately 237,000 personnel and 118,000 tons of cargo. This robust replenishment network lays the foundation for even the smallest support locations to support a mission as vast as the 2018 Singapore summit.