Secretary of the Air Force visits Team Pope

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Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett met with Team Pope Airmen on July 16 to discuss joint operations and the integral part the Air Force plays during global responses. 

Barrett met with the 43rd Air Mobility Squadron, 43rd Operations Support Squadron, 60th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, 18th Air Support Operations Group and the 352nd Special Warfare Training Squadron. She recognized star performers and discussed diversity and inclusion with enlisted members and officers.

“U.S. Air and Space Forces must be prepared to deter adversaries and defend our nation at a moment’s notice,” said Barrett. “The Airmen at Pope Field embrace a forward-looking mindset to achieve this goal.”

Pope Army Airfield is made up of squadrons spanning four different Air Force major commands: Air Mobility Command, Air Combat Command, Air Education and Training Command and Air Force Special Operations Command. Combined, they train, support, deliver and execute the Army Special Operations Forces’ mission worldwide at a moment’s notice. The Immediate Response Force relies heavily on interoperability to deploy within 18 hours of notification.

“Whether training with our Army partners and Special Forces units or refining aeromedical evacuation procedures to deliver world-class care in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Team Pope is ready to operate anywhere, anytime,” said Barrett. “There is great comfort in knowing you’re on watch and ever-ready.”

In January, the first-ever IRF activated to combat Iranian aggression in what was the quickest deployment in 30 years. Last month, another IRF was ordered to Washington D.C. as a precaution following multiple days of protests.

“We are thankful to Secretary Barrett for visiting Team Pope and recognizing the significant mission we deliver along with our mission partners across Fort Bragg,” said Colonel Joe Vanoni, 43rd Air Mobility Operations Group commander. “It truly is a team effort and we remain willing, able and ready to execute our mission when called upon.”