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6th Operations Group - In the Fight Every Day

  • Published
  • By Col. Lenny Richoux
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Commander
In the past couple of weeks I have had the pleasure of shaking the hands of several  hundred MacDill Airmen and have visited a couple of dozen flights, squadrons, and groups. Teamwork is alive and well at MacDill and it's clear to me that we are the finest Air Mobility Wing on the face of the planet...and getting even better. I am especially impressed with the level of cooperation between the 6 AMW and our Reserve Partners in the 927 ARW. That teamwork was apparent during our recent aircraft Generation Exercise in support of operational taskings. We spent the whole weekend simulating a scenario that required active duty and reserve partner cooperation. I was impressed with the performance. I am also appreciative of the level of support that MacDill Airmen give to our 41 partner units -- your support has global impact -- thank you. Lastly, I am humbled by the generosity of Tampa community; I am contacted every day by "Friends of MacDill" who pledge and provide direct support to you -- a thank you for your service. Keep up the great work!

Last week we spotlighted the 6th Mission Support Group. This week, I'd like to draw your attention to the Operations Group -- a big operation responsible for KC-135s, C-37s, an airport, and all of the support required for that infrastructure and its people. Although MacDill possesses 19 aircraft, they are rarely all here. Instead, the 6th Operations Group deploys its aircraft, aircrew and support personnel around the world every day. These teammates from our operations group and our geographically separated units in Alabama and North Carolina are fulfilling Joint Expeditionary Taskings, extending the reach of our aircraft, and transporting our senior leaders around the world.

In the air refueling community, aircrew pride themselves on supporting the air mobility mission by ensuring that every refueling is on time and on target. Just as significant, remaining flexible is an important part of what makes our Air Force and our American Military so great. Last week, Major Dave Eisenbrey, of the 91st Aerial Refueling Squadron, shared a great example of a critical air refueling mission. In the night skies of Iraq, the crew scrambled to refuel two F-16s providing close air support to ground forces. Despite diligent mission planning, a fire fight broke out below, requiring the F-16s to stay in the fight longer than planned and dictated some last minute mission changes. After quick recalculations, tense flying and two expert connections by the boom operator, this crew had its "customers" refueled.

Sounds like just another air refueling, right? Not necessarily, when you consider that one of the F-16s was dangerously low on fuel and was a reported 30 seconds from having to leave troops in contact. Because Dave and his crew adapted quickly and ensured the air refueling went off without a hitch, the F-16 returned to the fight and provided cover for Amercian fighting men and women below.

Another great example of our Airmen deployed and in the fight; teammates contributing to the bigger picture. Keep it up -- you are members of the finest Air Mobility Wing on the Face of the Planet!