621st AMOS WST shines during Exercise Mobility Guardian

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez
  • 621st Contingency Response Wing
 JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – Although the majority of military members participating in Exercise Mobility Guardian are approximately 3,000 miles away in the state of Washington, the Airmen of the 621st Air Mobility Operations Squadron managed to test their Air Operations Center Weapons System from their home station here.


Approximately 50 members of the 621st AMOS, and several members of the 321st AMOS and 183rd AMOS provided a total force effort to facilitate the operational command and control function of the exercised scheduled from July 31-Aug. 12. It is the largest scale exercise that Air Mobility Command has ever carried out with approximately 3,000 U.S. and 650 international military participants on Joint Base Lewis McCord, Washington and other locations in the state of Washington. The intent is to enhance the capabilities of mobility Airmen by preparing them to succeed in the dynamic threat environments focusing on airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation and air mobility support.

“The importance of this exercise is to understand the challenges that senior leaders face when making decisions about mobility,” said Lt. Col. Damion Holtzclaw, 621st AMOS director of operations. “It will help keep us focused in the right direction.”

“We are flexing and showcasing our ability to command and control mobility assets,” added Tech. Sgt. Michael Russell, 621st AMOS communications flight chief.

The AMOS holds a variety of career fields in their flights such as readiness, planning, communications, training, and standards and evaluations. During contingencies, they form a united front and operate as an air mobility division in a secured room designed specifically for command and control operations world-wide.

“In order for the exercise to function, you need command and control of all mobility air assets,” Russell said. “The way you do that is you plan, organize, task, and equip these air assets. We let them know where to go, when to go, how to get there and utilizing what aircraft. That’s where our job comes in.”

According to Ms. Toni Fortes, 621st AMOS Weapon Systems Trainer Technical Subject Matter Expert, the key to our ability to effectively command and control mobility assets during contingency and exercise operations is the AMOS weapon system trainer, which is a version of the AOC WS and AMC external servers and applications.

“The system and its applications provide critical information to control air, space, and information operations and coordinate combat support activities in support of any Joint Forces Commander or Joint Forces Air Component Commander across the full range of military operations,” Fortes said. “This is the first time we were able to test out our system in an exercise of this scale as an AOC/AMD”

“In keeping pace with the Chief of Staff's objective of ‘enhancing multi-domain command and control capabilities,’ the AMOS's operational contribution to Mobility Guardian hits a homerun in this arena,” Holtzclaw said. “For the AMOS, this exercise reveals proof of concept opportunities of reducing the AMOS's 12-hour response time to augment the CFACC's AMD, to now, providing command and control capabilities at JB MDL at moment's notice. Providing this capability to Combatant Commanders in the future could prove invaluable. Mobility Guardian was just a tip of the iceberg for the AMOS, from where we would like to see our mission and capabilities expand.       

According to Russell, they train in-garrison to help sharpen their skills to prepare for their main mission.

“From a training aspect, it helps to keep us proficient,” Russell said. “We constantly train to ensure we are at our best to be able to go out and deploy at a moment’s notice, to execute our global reach capabilities. That’s how we fight, and we are training how we fight.”