Santa is only a few days away from making his momentous, annual trek around the globe, visiting more than 1.6 billion households across 25 million habitable square miles, asserts Forbes. So how does Santa manage to get everything accomplished in time for the perfect Christmas morning? The answer is simple: Kris Kringle plans every detail to ensure he delivers the goods – with precision.
Santa’s work at the North Pole is geared toward Christmas deliveries, but his mission is strikingly similar to that of the Air Mobility Command (AMC) – one of Tapestry Solutions’ significant customers. The commonalities between the two were highlighted in AMC’s open letter to Santa, authored by Col. Chris Karns, director of public affairs for the AMC at Scott Air Force Base. The letter went viral on social media prior to Santa’s journey around the globe.
Let’s take a closer look at what these major players have in common, and why it matters:
Both Deliver Hope and Goodwill on a Global Scale
Like Santa and his elves, the men and women with the AMC deliver hope and goodwill to millions around the planet. In 2017, expeditionary mobility airmen were in 77 locations around the world, performing tasks including refueling, airdrops, cargo hauling, presidential airlift and humanitarian relief missions.
Although they didn’t deliver toys, cookies and milk, the airmen delivered relief and support to those in need. During the devastating hurricanes in the Virgin Islands, for instance, the AMC’s 14th Airlift Squadron delivered 129,000 pounds of food and water to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, in support of relief efforts after Hurricane Maria on Sept. 24. The airmen also delivered humanitarian aid to refuge camps around the world, feeding thousands of displaced men, women and children during joint operations.
“Whether we’re delivering beans and bullets, fuel at 25,000 feet, setting up a bare base at forward locations or bringing wounded to life-saving care … we deliver,” remarked Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, the AMC commander, during the AMC’s 2017 Wingman Day event at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
At the same time, the AMC delivered equipment and supplies to allied forces in the fight against ISIS – regular residents on Santa’s “Naughty List,” according to the letter. AMC aerial tankers flew more than 40 percent of United States Air Force (USAF) sorties in remote areas of the Middle East, hoping to make lives brighter for the good boys and girls in the region.
Like Santa, who delivers the right goods at the right time, the AMC must deliver with precision. The airmen often delver supplies to troops in austere conditions where there is inadequate or nonexistent roadways, treacherous terrain features, insurgent activity or other threats. During these missions, precision is critical to avoid collateral damage to civilian populace and property.
Both Must Ensure their Equipment is Well Maintained
As with Santa’s horse-drawn sleigh, AMC must keep its vintage aircraft properly maintained to perform their vital missions, year after year. USAF aircraft are 27-years-old on average, but most AMC aircraft are even older than that.
The KC-135 Stratotanker – the Air Forces’ main aerial refueler – averages 55 years of age. With an aging fleet, there is a decline in mission-capable rates. The Air Force Times reports that on any given day, only 7 in 10 USAF aircraft are ready to fly while aging aircraft are in the shop undergoing maintenance, upgrades and inspections.
The decline in mission-ready rates affects the AMC’s ability to move people, weapons, fuel and supplies, according to Brig. Gen. Stacey Hawkins, director of logistics, engineering and force protection for Air Mobility Command.
“When the mission-capable rates are lower … it affects the long-term readiness of our fleets, our ability to train our air crews, and it has a ripple effect that can take years to fix,” Hawkins continued.
To extend the life of its fleet, the AMC must rely on the support of the Air Reserve component by swapping or rotating aircraft. “Sharing and cooperating definitely deserves a nod on the ‘Nice List’ – Right Santa?” Karns remarked in his letter.
AMC’s Top Wish for 2018: A Stable and Predictable Budget
Furthermore, Karns said AMC’s top wish list for 2018 is a stable and predictable budget, because freedom comes at a cost. Lack of funding limits flying hours, and defers restoration and modernization requirements. It also impacts readiness, training and “the lives of people selflessly serving to deliver hope and relief to so many.”
“Resolving, in 2018, to get this right is a must,” said Karns, asking Santa to “help deliver messages of hope and keep in mind all service-members who are deployed this holiday season.”
“If you happen to need an airlift this holiday season,” he continued, “remember, the Air Force is always there ― ready to partner and get the job done.”
About the Air Mobility Command:
Air Mobility Command’s mission is to provide rapid, global mobility and sustainment for America’s armed forces. The command also plays a crucial role in providing humanitarian support at home and around the world. The men and women of AMC provide airlift and aerial refueling for all of America’s armed forces
About Tapestry Solutions
Tapestry Solutions, Inc. is a global provider of information management software and services for defense, government and commercial markets. Backed by our parent company, The Boeing Company, we provide mission planning, training and simulation support to maximize readiness for our warfighters. We also help solve logistics challenges for the world’s largest and most complex supply chains. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Tapestry supports customers from more than 50 locations worldwide, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Afghanistan, Kuwait, the UK, South Korea, Australia, Germany and Italy.
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