Sascha Lindauer and Michael Ritzmann were recognized by the 86th Airlift Wing command team for their extraordinary contributions to ensuring the cleanliness of the facilities in the Kaiserslautern Military Community during the COVID-19 pandemic, March 9.
“Lindauer and Ritzmann have been the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 response in the KMC,” said Senior Master Sgt. Janna David, 786th CES operations resource advisor.
When COVID-19 first hit Germany in 2020, Lindauer and Ritzmann, both 786th Civil Engineer Squadron contract officer representatives, established the U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s first emergency disinfection contract.
“Once we were notified that we needed a special protocol to mitigate COVID-19 in the KMC area, it took approximately three to four weeks to create the contract to adhere to the guidelines, no longer than the normal contract process does,” Lindauer said.
Lindauer and Ritzmann have enabled the disinfection of 89 facilities across the KMC to include the Northside and Southside Post Offices, the Warrior Preparation Center, the Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe- Air Forces AFRICA building, the 721st Aerial Port Squadron’s aircrew areas, KMC lodging, the 86th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department, all of Ramstein Air Base’s entry control and gate shacks and multiple dormitories.
“Initially the staff would wipe down and apply a special detergent, that was effective against COVID-19 on the floors, doors and other common areas,” Ritzmann said. “Now we have a nebulizer that disperses the disinfectant in the air and after an hour the room is completely disinfected. This method is more efficient.”
When the KMC began closing facilities due to the virus, the team reengineered the existing KMC custodial contract to provide increased cleanings to open facilities at no cost to the government.
“Our role is to monitor the services that the custodial contractors perform,” Ritzmann said. “We inspect the facility that needs a COVID-19 cleaning, take the measurements of the room and relay that to the cleaners so they come prepared with the proper quantity of supplies.”
Providing a disinfection service within 24 hours, Ritzmann and Lindauer often work late nights and weekends to help mitigate mission impacts, while overseeing cleaning operations and 15 other service contracts.
“When we get a notification of a possible COVID-19 case in a work station, we mobilize quickly to disinfect that area, because every second Airmen aren’t doing their jobs impacts the Ramstein mission,” Lindauer said.