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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

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AMC vice commander visits 380th AEW in Southwest Asia

By Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol | | February 16, 2010

As part of a visit through the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, Lt. Gen. Vern M. "Rusty" Findley II, Air Mobility Command vice commander, stopped at a non-disclosed base here Feb. 10 to 11 to visit with deployed mobility Airmen of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing.

Air mobility assets at the wing include the KC-10 Extenders of the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron populated by Airmen from AMC's Travis Air Force Base, Calif., and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

There are also numerous AMC Airmen serving in support positions throughout the wing in security forces, force support, public affairs, aircraft maintenance and more. In addition to Travis and JB MDL, deployed AMC Airmen in the 380th AEW come from Scott AFB, Ill., Pope AFB, N.C., McChord AFB, Wash., and Charleston AFB, S.C., to name a few.

In General Findley's visit, he met with the 380th AEW leadership to include Brig. Gen. Bryan Benson, 380th AEW commander, Col. Kip Turain, wing vice commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Suzan Sangster, command chief master sergeant, along with several group and squadron commanders.

In one stop during his visit, General Findley held a breakfast for mobility Airmen deployed to the 380th AEW. During the breakfast, General Findley reminded the Airmen on the importance of their support for the deployed mission.

"Today, the number is 3,075," said General Findley, referring to the number of days since Sept. 11, 2001. "The work that you're doing over here has ensured, I'm sure of it, that we haven't had another attack on American soil since 9-11."

He also thanked the 380th Airmen for their continued support for the mission. "My thanks go to you for the great effort that you put forth here," General Findley said. "I don't think there is any question how important your work is here. You are making a difference."

General Findley also discussed three words that he wanted the Airmen to remember -- pride, professionalism and passion. With pride, he said to be "proud in standing up for our great Air Force and for what we bring to the fight."

In discussing professionalism, he said the Air Force's "professionalism is unmatched" and for passion he encouraged Airmen to always put forth passion in "everything you do."

General Findley saw first-hand the pride, passion and professionalism that Airmen in the 380th Expeditionary Maintenance Group and 908th EARS put forth in their effort during a visit to their areas. He met with numerous maintenance and operations Airmen and looked through deployed operations for the KC-10 Extender combat mission.

In addressing Airmen throughout his visit, General Findley reminded them of the nobility of their cause.

"There is nothing more noble than being part of something bigger than yourself," General Findley said about serving in the Air Force and the military. "You should be very proud of that and never forget how important that is."

In his leadership position at AMC, General Findley helps lead a command that is responsible for the bulk of the U.S. Air Force's strategic transportation assets and mission. From 12 major air installations in the United States and nearly 100 active-duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve locations worldwide, AMC provides rapid, flexible, global reach for America. More than 141,500 people comprise the Total Force air mobility community, operating combat delivery and strategic airlift, air refueling, and aeromedical and special mission aircraft for national interests.

General Findley earned his Air Force commission in 1976 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at Arizona State University, his Air Force biography shows. He has held numerous operational positions, to include command of the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston AFB, S.C., and 319th Air Refueling Wing, Grand Forks AFB, N.D.

During Operation Allied Force in 1999, the air war over Serbia, he commanded the 92nd Air Expeditionary Wing, headquartered in Spain. As commander of the 437th Airlift Wing, his unit provided vital support to Operation Enduring Freedom, airdropping humanitarian daily rations over Afghanistan on the first night of the war and tactically inserting the first non-special forces unit into a covert dirt airfield south of Kandahar, Afghanistan. These historic combat "firsts" earned his unit the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" device for valor.