Air Force News

Total Force, the only way to fight

Released: 15 Apr 1999

by Capt. Lee Youngblood
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFPN) -- Leadership from the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, Air Mobility Command and the United States Air Force gathered at the 375th Airlift Wing refueling pad April 13 to dedicate the "Spirit of the Total Force," a C-17 Globemaster III, to the fleet of Air Force airlifters.

Maj. Gen. Richard C. Cosgrave, Air National Guard assistant to the AMC commander, followed by Maj. Gen. James E. Sherrard, Air Force Reserve commander; Gen. Charles T. Robertson, Air Mobility Command commander; and Acting Secretary of the Air Force Whit Peters delivered messages of pride of service and global unity to an audience of more than 100 "total force" commanders.

"Our active, Guard and Reserve members seamlessly band together as teammates for the best Air Force in the world," Cosgrave said. "AMC optimizes true total force and no one does it better."

Sherrard amplified Cosgrave's comments thanking the AMC staff for treating the Air Force Reserve members as "full team players." Sherrard went on to express pride of participation on behalf of all Air Force Reserve members.

Robertson took the opportunity to discuss the concept of "resilient world leadership," asserting that responsiveness and flexibility are the tools AMC uses to ensure timely global reach. Robertson said, "Today, Air Mobility Command automatically operates from a total force mindset ... The 21st century is going to be far, far too complex a place for us to live to have one-dimensional guidance and one-dimensional solutions to the world's problems."

His comments were strongly supported by Peters who said that it takes qualified, capable people to add "life" to weapons systems like the C-17 and make them truly effective.

"It is more apparent than ever how important and vital this total force mix is to America's security and defense," Peters said. Amplifying how common total force employment has become, he coined it as the operating procedure of the 21st century. Peters closed his comments offering a prayer of safety and perseverance to all who fly "The Spirit of the Total Force."


** Air Mobility Command
** Air Force Reserve
** Air National Guard
** Whit Peters, acting secretary of the Air Force
** Gen. Charles T. Robertson, commander, Air Mobility Command
** Maj. Gen. James E. Sherrard, commander, Air Force Reserve
** C-17 Globemaster III