by Senior Airman Milton Hamilton
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The 86th Airlift Wing leadership held an all-call at the Southside fitness center on Ramstein Air Base, April 27.
During the all-call Brig. Gen. Mark August, 86th AW commander, outlined a few of his goals for the wing, which included resilience, balancing peacetime operations with combat readiness and lethality, training tomorrow’s leaders for contingency operations today, and continuing to earn recognition as the “World’s Best Wing.”
August said there is a tremendous opportunity living overseas to influence an entire theatre by partnering with allies.
“One of the great initiatives from the operations group, is to team up with our North Atlantic Treaty Organization partners,” said August. “They have access to range, landing zones, drop zones, facilities, and we have the expertise they want. That seems like a pretty fair trade to me.”
Though during the all-call the 86th AW leadership focused on the wings’ mission capabilities and readiness, they were also concerned with the morale and well-being of the Airmen and their families.
Chief Master Sgt. Ernesto Rendon, 86th AW command chief, emphasized the wing’s involvement with Wounded Warrior Care events and the wing’s leadership priorities for mental health.
“Last time when we talked about resiliency, I talked about mental health,” said Rendon. “We’ve teamed up with the U.S. Air Force wounded warriors, who are scheduled to hold a Wounded Warrior Care event. This team is going to bring service members who suffer from things such as traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder. This event will give all of us an opportunity to see in action, what resiliency looks like in some of the toughest situations.”
In addition to his focusing on mental health, Rendon also spoke about bettering the lives of Airmen and their families who live and work on Ramstein.
Rendon highlighted several suggestions that are being considered after receiving feedback from Airmen and their dependents, such as having base-wide wifi, 24/7 access to the Southside gym, and repainting of the lines in the parking lot to allow more visibility when parking.
Additionally, Rendon spoke about the 86th AW leadership investing in innovative ideas created by Airmen.
“We enabled folks who are right on the front lines of doing the job, to tell us how they can do it better,” said Rendon. “We allocated 675,000 dollars from our innovation funds to support 14 ideas that would help you do your job safer, faster, and more efficient.”
The leaders prepared Airmen for the second iteration of exercise Operation Varsity, and discussed the lessons learned from the prior exercise.
Rendon said it was neat to see Airmen respond well to the different challenges thrown at them and be able to effectively do their jobs.
“The goal of these exercises is to ensure that we’re able to respond in time to a major crisis,” said Rendon.
August concluded by encouraging Airmen to prepare themselves mentally for exercise Operation Varsity 19-02 and challenged all Airmen to be a lead during the exercise.
“I care about an organization that is ready, trained and equipped for combat operations,” said August.
August said there will be enough scenarios to give everyone an opportunity to solve tactical problems and exercise war time skills.