Air Mobility Command recently stood up two squadrons to provide dedicated airlift for President Obama’s re-election bid. Four C-17s temporarily stationed at JB Andrews, Md., and approximately eight C-130s at New Castle ANGB, Del., form the 305th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron and 306th EAS, respectively. They are expected to commence operations in April. “The Banner Express mission provides dedicated assets to our highest priority airlift—Presidential support,” said Col Allan Hess, 89th Operations Group commander. Formed only to support a sitting President in his campaign, the Air Force last stood up “Banner Express” squadrons for President Bush in 2004, 89th AW spokesman 2nd. Lt. Gregg Johnson told the Daily Report. AMC will inactivate the squadrons—mustering a combined 160 aircrew and support personnel—following the Presidential election in November. (For background, see December 2011 Andrews report by Maj. Michelle Lai.)
As the Pentagon increasingly pivots its focus to strategic competition with China, the U.S. will look to expand its partnership with South Korea to increase security across the entire Indo-Pacific region, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said Dec. 2 during a visit to the northeastern Asian nation.