435th MSS achieves, overcomes

Lt. Col. Julie Robel
435th Mission Support Squadron commander

Fiscal Year 2005 to 2006 was a banner year for the 435th Mission Support Squadron. The men and women of the 435th MSS were able to achieve unprecedented results despite a shocking 46 percent manning for most of the year. 

There was definitely no shortage of challenges but there was also no shortage of unit cohesion, initiative and leadership throughout the eight flights that made up the 435th Mission Support Squadron (Military Personnel Flight, Airmen Leadership School, Civilian Personnel Office, Airman & Family Readiness Flight, Education Services Flight, Manpower and Organization Flight, Professional Enhancement Flight and the former Ramstein Area Motivational Program). The squadron answered the challenges in superior fashion, claiming three Air Force Level and 10 U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Level awards:

2006 Air Force level awards
– Outstanding Mission Support Squadron (Large Category) Award
– Manpower and Organization, Installation CGO – Capt. Matthew Quitter
– Civilian Personnel, Senior Program Manager – Mike Waschek

2006 USAFE level awards
– Outstanding Mission Support Squadron (Large Category) Award
– Gerrit D. Foster, Outstanding Military Personnel Flight, Cat I
– Nathan Altschuler, Outstanding Education and Training Flight, Cat I-A
– Outstanding Airman & Family Readiness Flight/Family Readiness Office, Cat I
– Outstanding Senior Personnel Manager, Cat I-B- Lt. Col. Julie Robel
– Manpower and Organization, Installation CGO – Capt. Matthew Quitter
– Manpower and Organization, Installation Senior Civilian – Stacey Williams-Kleinert
– Civilian Personnel, Senior Program Manager – Mike Waschek
– Outstanding Family Support/Family Readiness Individual Award — Senior Master Sgt. Steve Burns
– Outstanding Education/Training Specialist, GS-9 thru GS-11 — Carol Payne
Being named the “Best” large Mission Support Squadron in the Air Force came as a result of great leadership and extremely hard work by a cohesive team of military, civilian and local national members. The 435th MSS was coined “The busiest MSS in the AF” by the Air Force director of personnel. In FY06, the MPF deployed more than 3,500 Airmen to 75 sites worldwide. The education and training flight managed the largest tuition assistance budget in the Air Force at nearly $5 million dollars; this record high budget was needed to fund nearly 9,000 enrollments from 22 locations across Europe. The professional enhancement flight, which houses the base career assistance advisors and the First-Term Airman Center, continues to host the largest professional development seminars in the Air Force. The Airman Leadership School, located on Kapaun, is the USAFE leader producing over 550 graduates annually. The Airman & Family Readiness Center, formerly called the Family Support Center, distributed over $386,000 in Air Force Aid — the largest caseload in USAFE.

Ramstein also boasts the largest Civilian Personnel Flight in USAFE. They provide exceptional personnel service to more than 1,100 U.S. and 3,200 non-U.S. personnel in 18 countries spread across 50 different sites and deployed locations. The manpower and organization flight was vital to the President’s budget decision 720 release by validating fair share numbers across three wings totaling 3,800 positions. Finally, before closing its doors in March 2007, the Ramstein Area Motivational Program “re-blued” 86 Airmen saving the Air Force an estimated $1.2 million in training costs.

In addition to providing service to more than 60,000 personnel in the KMC, geographically separated units and tenant agencies, the 435th MSS was the base point of contact during an enormous transformational period for the Air Force and the personnel community. Some of those changes included the closing of Rhein-Main Air Base, the Air Force’s force shaping initiatives, the implementation of National Services Personnel System getting the 435th Mission Support Group’s command support staff and lastly the Stuttgart MSS and its detachments and operating locations. 

To sum up the efforts over this past year, the squadron was faced with many challenges in the last year and not only met but surpassed every expectation because of the great attitude and professionalism of each member of the squadron. I truly have the best people in the Air Force. 

Editor’s note: Colonel Robel relinquished command of the 435th MSS Monday to become the 3rd Air Force A1.