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AMC outlines future 'total force' mobility requirements

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie
  • Air Force Public Affairs Agency, OL-P
The Air Mobility Command director of strategic plans, requirements and programs discussed innovation and technology that will shape the total force mobility enterprise in the coming years during an AMC requirements brief at the 2014 Air Force Association Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition, Washington, D.C., Sept. 16.

While talking about how AMC enables and has vested interest in all five Air Force core missions, Maj. Gen. Michael S. Stough highlighted the main focus area for mobility Airmen – rapid global mobility. Stough said AMC is working together with Guard and Reserve mobility Airmen to better shape the future of the fleet that is the backbone of this capability.

“We are shooting to be a sufficient total force,” he said. “Sufficient to execute the missions to which we are assigned, and a total force because we can’t do it without our Guard and Reserve partners,” he said.

Stough’s brief touched on near-term requirements, but also what the command is thinking about as far as determining future capabilities, and looking beyond the platform itself.

“In some cases, it’s not the platform, it’s about what’s on the platform – for example, sensors or some other component,” Stough said. “The key is, we need to look at what are those capabilities we need to develop in the future.”

As the general talked about future capabilities, one possibility he talked about was additional autonomy on the next-generation KC-Y or KC-Z. Stough said that concept doesn’t necessarily mean fully autonomous or unmanned as the next step. He said it could include looking at how future generations of tankers can add autonomy in ways that allow for potentially decreasing the number of crew members on an aircraft, or keeping the same number but increasing the safety, assistance and decision-making ability the crewmembers have.

“We think there’s great promise in autonomy,” he said.

“On the fleet as a whole, we’re working very hard to ensure those airplanes we have now will continue to be capable into the future,” said Stough. “But at the same time, we have to start looking ahead at where we need to go from here.”