USAF EC Commander visits Hurlburt Field

HURLBURT FIELD. Fla, -- The commander of the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center paid a visit to Hurlburt Field, Fla., March 9-10.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Bence visited the base to familiarize himself with the USAF EC tenant unit here, the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Operations School’s Detachment 1, while accompanied by Chief Master Sgt. Larry Williams, command chief for the USAF EC.

“Being able to come out here and visit the staff, see what they do and be a part of the course has been a great experience for us,” Bence said. “As the Expeditionary Center commander, we have four basic mission sets, and our fourth line of effort is the Expeditionary Operations School where our instructors teach more than a 100 courses to 40,000 personnel who come through our gateway annually.

Bence oversees operational control of the Expeditionary Operations School and administrative control of six wings and two groups within Air Mobility Command.

This is his first visit here since taking command of USAF EC in August 2016.

While visiting the detachment, Bence observed the staff as they taught the Director of Mobility of Forces Course, one of several courses the school offers to support the joint warfighter.

The semi-annual, five-day course prepares senior level officers, colonel and above, for the responsibility of supporting a joint task force commander by coordinating and providing their expertise on the movement of air mobility forces in and out of an area of operations. Other air operations the DIRMOBFOR may support range from humanitarian assistance to major combat operations.

Bence attended the course about a decade ago before deploying in 2006 as a deputy director of mobility forces for the Combined Air Operations Center in Southwest Asia.

“The course has changed from what I went through to account for the new tactics procedures that have been developed,” he said. “As a student in the course, they gave me all the fundamentals to develop a strong foundation, and I was able to take that knowledge and apply it in the real world when I deployed as a deputy director of mobility forces.”

He spoke to students about his own experience as a deputy director of mobility forces before departing on the final day of the course.

“As a [Director of Mobility Forces], you will able to do some amazing things, whether it’s being able to be on the leading edge of a new capability like precision air drop, where we can drop supplies and necessary equipment to personnel on the ground in very narrow canyons, or coordinating a medical evacuation out of the AOR - it was really rewarding,” he said. “We’re always looking to evolve and improve as new techniques and methods become available to make sure our Airmen are ready for whatever challenges they may face.”