The U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center hosted Air Mobility Command’s 2019 Phoenix Rally Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Oct. 8-10. The event provided AMC leaders an opportunity to come together to focus on developing mobility forces’ capabilities and to improve readiness.
“From the youngest Airmen to the most senior civilians on the EC staff, we were thrilled to host Phoenix Rally this year,” said Maj. Gen. John Gordy, EC commander. “This year’s Rally allowed our Airmen a chance to showcase to mobility leaders their diverse mission and the impact they have on improving capabilities across the service and Joint Force. With this year’s focus on force development, we offered an ideal setting for leaders to see firsthand the solutions and opportunities through which the EC can help develop our Airmen.”
One of the highlights of Rally was an integrated resiliency panel in which Airmen shared stories of overcoming personal struggles. Following the panel, Gen. Maryanne Miller, AMC commander, shared her thoughts and expectations with mobility leaders.
“The resiliency of Mobility Airmen is critical to our execution of a high operational tempo mission,” said Miller. “The Airmen who spoke to us at Rally opened up their hearts and shared moving examples of how they coped and persevered through significant challenges, and more importantly, shared their thoughts on how we can have greater awareness when Airmen may be struggling.
“As leaders, we have a responsibility to take time to put our arms around those Airmen who may be struggling and work to get their lives in a better place. We may not be professional life coaches, but we all have a heart – and Airmen need leaders who lead with a heart.”
Offering resiliency and providing training is part of the Air Force and AMC’s deliberate push to empower Airmen to identify and overcome their specific challenges. The goal of talking about resiliency is designed to teach Airmen how to choose to respond to events in a positive way and persevere. Resiliency training provides tools Airmen need to recognize, face and overcome personal challenges and how to recover and grow from hardship.
In addition to the resiliency panel and a briefing on the risk of ethical drift in organizations, AMC leaders had the opportunity to participate in a Dare to Lead™ workshop, hear in-depth discussions on various Mobility Air Forces initiatives, and receive mission briefings on the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center, Global Air Mobility Support System and other facets of mobility operations.
“Phoenix Rally offers an invaluable opportunity for AMC commanders and command chiefs to talk face to face on shared challenges and successes.” said Col John Schutte, 19th Airlift Wing commander, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.
“There were a lot of great briefings and information discussed, but I think many of us really appreciated leadership listening attentively as we highlighted and discussed our Airmen’s concerns on issues like retention and career development. It’s important for Airmen to know their concerns are being heard and considered.”
During closing remarks, Miller emphasized to mobility leaders the important role Phoenix Rally plays in helping her improve the command.
“Your open and honest communication is what Chief Greene and I appreciate most about Phoenix Rally,” said Miller. “We value the feedback you provide me as commanders and command chiefs on behalf of your Airmen. We know how to get after the mission, but this week offered us an occasion to discuss better ways to value our Airmen and improve their lives.
“Our discussions at Rally validated my belief that it starts with finding time in our busy schedules to get away from the desk to visit our Airmen, hear their stories and just be there for them.”