435 CTS ensures ready Airmen

Throughout the months of increased COVID-19 measures, the 435th Construction and Training Squadron hosted several training courses for various Air Force specialties within the 86th Airlift Wing.

Despite COVID-19, the 435th CTS ensured Airmen received necessary training to maintain readiness for contingency operations.

“Our goal is to train highly capable engineers with essential war fighting skills necessary to succeed in a deployed environment,” said MSgt. Daniel Decastro, 435th CTS infrastructure section chief.

During the training courses, the 435th CTS provided mission essential equipment training and other career-specific skills such as crane certification, welding and fire rescue procedures.

U.S Air Force Airmen assigned to the 86th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department conduct a rescue certification course at Ramstein Air Base, April 28. The skills learned in this course can be used to rescue people who are stuck on the side of a building or have fallen off a cliff, among other things.

As the main training flight for U.S. Air Forces in Europe, the 435th CTS provides Airmen the opportunity to increase their respective Air Force specialty skill level.

“Airmen are required to have this training every three years,” Decastro said. “Most Airmen do not have this equipment in their home station so they come to the 435th CTS to get trained and certified to upgrade to journeyman or craftsman.”

Additionally, the 435th CTS trains allied and partner nation forces with similar jobs to USAFE Airmen.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brandon Williams, 786th Civil Engineer Squadron water and fuel systems maintenance journeyman, left, and Tech. Sgt. Ronald Melton, 435th Construction and Training Squadron water and fuel systems maintenance contingency training noncommissioned officer in charge, conduct a water purification test with a reverse osmosis water purification unit during proficiency training at Ramstein Air Base, April 29. The 435th CTS teaches a specialty course for all U.S. Air Forces in Europe water and fuel systems maintenance Airmen on how to properly operate and maintain the ROWPU in a contingency environment.

“Last year we trained the Lithuanian military on how to operate, install, and maintain Mobile Aircraft Arresting Systems,” Decastro said. “In fact, our 435 CTS subject matter experts built the Lithuanian operation and maintenance program for their MAAS.”

The training courses used to teach allies and U.S. Airmen could not have happened without the 435th CTS’ ability to navigate COVID-19.

“Our talented and smart instructors developed safety plans aligned with the Wing guidance to be able to continue teaching the mission essential equipment courses,” Decastro said. “We had to cut the class sizes in half, but the bright side was students were able to get more one-on-one time with the instructor, which allowed the students to gain a better grasp of the material.”

Even with the COVID-19 restrictions in place, the 435 CTS training mission continues.