ST. LOUIS–As the nation prepares to mark 20 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, the moment is a full-circle time of reflection for a U.S. Air Force Major General stationed at Scott Air Force Base.
On September 11, 2001, Corey Martin was stationed at Charleston (SC) Air Force Base as a C-17 Examiner Airdrop Aircraft Commander. Following the attacks, Martin flew the first C-17 mission into Afghanistan an hour after Operation Enduring Freedom began October 7, 2001, dropping food rations for displaced Afghan people. The Air Force says that flight remains the longest C-17 flight ever.
Twenty years later, Martin, now a Major General, is the director of Operations at U.S. Transportation Command, or TRANSCOM, based at Scott Air Force Base. In that role, Maj. Gen. Martin has overseen the logistics of getting American forces, U.S. residents and Afghan refugees, and others out of the country, as the U.S. ends its involvement in the nation’s longest war.
In a video shared by the Department of Defense in conjunction with the upcoming anniversary, Martin thought back to the unity felt in the country in the days following the attack. “I also think its a reminder Actors far from our shores could have a direct impact on what happened in America,” he said. “But I think a reminder to America and even to our adversaries or would-be adversaries of how quickly America will rally against an external threat.”