When arriving at a new place for the first time, the unfamiliarity can be overwhelming. This is especially true for Airmen who are expected to execute the mission immediately upon arrival.
For the 721st Mobility Support Squadron, a unit whose majority consist of deployed members on a rotation-based tour, a two-man flight acts as a logistical hub for Airmen and gives them a peace of mind while they focus on the mission. This team is known as the Expeditionary Operations Support Flight.
“For all the members deployed to Ramstein in the capacity of (Air Mobility Command), we make sure they can hit the ground running and not have to worry about anything that’s not their job,” said Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Cissna, 721st MSS EOSF noncommissioned officer in charge.
The 721st MSS consists of multiple Air Force specialties which provide support for AMC missions coming through Ramstein. Additionally, the Aeromedical Evacuation team assigned to the squadron provides airlift for patients downrange and returns them to Ramstein to receive the medical attention they need.
Due to the nature of the squadron’s mission and vast network of Airmen, the EOSF is an essential component as they ensure every Airman is taken care of.
“When the Airmen get here and they need to immediately start evacuating people from the desert, protecting airplanes, fixing planes or providing life equipment to the aircrews, they don’t have the time and resource knowledge to make sure they’re logistically ready to go.”
Logistic support includes lodging reservations, rental car accommodations and orienting Airmen with their surroundings and base agencies, but that is not all the team does. They are also responsible for processing awards and decorations, facilitating responses to unexpected family emergencies and attending to a myriad of additional duties.
As one of the few permanently assigned entities in the squadron, the two-man team can fill in the logistical gap and take care of the Airmen so the Airmen can take care of the mission.
“When you’re less stressed out, you’re going to be a lot more efficient at your job and more productive,” said Staff Sgt. Landon Wilkerson, 721st MSS EOSF supervisor.
For jobs like Aeromedical Evacuation and Security Forces Ravens, focus is crucial to mission success. By alleviating the added stressors outside of their official duties, Airmen in these high-impact jobs can continue saving and protecting lives without distraction.
When learning about successful missions out of the squadron, Wilkerson said “It’s nice to know that you’re helping people make a big impact. We’re a small cog in the machine, but essential.”