Brig. Gen. Otis C. Jones, 86th Airlift Wing commander, released his mission, vision, and priorities to guide Team Ramstein in their no-fail mission supporting allies and partner nations, and enabling the Global Gateway.
Jones leads Airmen across six countries, seven groups and 30 squadrons who stand ready to project U.S. and NATO airpower when called upon.
86th AW Mission: Defend U.S. Interests, Project Power, and Enable the Global Gateway
“Priorities in the 2022 National Defense Strategy include deterring strategic attacks against the United States, Allies and partners, and deterring aggression, while being prepared to prevail in conflict. Our presence here in Germany, serves as that deterrence. However, we must be prepared to defend U.S. interest, which includes protecting our Airmen and their families, and defending our critical infrastructure on Ramstein proper and our geographically separated installations.”
In order to advance the wing’s ability to perform its mission, Jones said Airmen must always be postured to project power in all domains, including air, land, space and cyberspace.
“It’s not just about the 86th Airlift Wing’s mission,” Jones said. “It’s the mission of our more than 120 mission partners, so ensuring the Global Gateway is ready is imperative. If one fails, we all fail.”
86th AW Vision: Adaptive Airmen, Agile Team…Ready to Execute
An agile team of adaptive Airmen is required to ensure the no-fail mission succeeds. We must be ready to execute when called upon by our Nation.
“The 86th AW vision recognizes that this is a team effort,” Jones said. “We need an agile team of adaptive Airmen who are creative, innovative and flexible, and truly own their commitment to be ready to execute when called.”
86th AW Priorities and Focus Areas: Mission, People, Partners, Culture
To ensure Team Ramstein accomplishes the mission and vision, Jones said there are four priorities — mission, people, partners, and culture — that he wants members across the base to focus their efforts on.
Mission: “This is why we’re here.”
“Our first priority is the mission because that is why we are here,” Jones said. “We must execute what we are tasked with today and be prepared to operate in an ever-changing complex and dynamic threat environment. The team must advance our piece of the Air Force Generation (AFFORGEN) model to ensure we are postured to offer a sustainable force of Airmen and airpower to the joint force.”
The wing will also advance our progress with Agile Combat Employment and multi-capable Airmen concepts. We must continue to train our Airmen to do basic tasks outside their usual specialty and operationalize our scheme of maneuver to increase survivability while generating and projecting combat power across the theater.
Additionally, the 86th AW will prioritize infrastructure resilience and installation excellence to ensure our resources are able withstand dynamic environments and operations.
People: “The mission doesn’t happen without the people.”
“One of the driving priorities of the 86th AW is the people,” Jones said. “It is incumbent for our leaders to inspire Airmen by demonstrating excellence in how we conduct ourselves each and every day.”
For many service members, there is some version of a family behind them for support, which served as inspiration to invest in Airmen and families.
Particularly at overseas locations, quality of life and how Airmen live is important to the command team, Jones said, because the resources available in Germany are not the same as those stateside.
Additionally, Jones named the priorities of developing Airmen and families, who strive for excellence in all that they do.
“Every Airman should strive to leave Ramstein better than when they arrived,” Jones said. “Developing our Airmen and their families starts with enhancing their quality of life and improving the organizations that provide the resources they need. It also involves providing deliberate programs and opportunities to personally and professionally develop skillsets that will be needed for in and out of uniform.”
Partners: “Our German partners are gracious hosts, so we need to be good neighbors.”
Jones also aims to deepen relationships with allies, partners, and surrounding communities, which will allow the wing to come together with the community as one team in times of need.
While Jones believes it is important to build connections and partnerships with community surrounding the base, it is also important to strengthen interoperability with allies and partners, and advance joint integration with our sister services.
“It is critical to exercise, train and integrate with our allies to understand different capabilities, and capacities each entity brings to the fight,” Jones said. “However, our partnerships extend beyond other Nations, but also units at surrounding bases within the Kaiserslautern Military Community.”
Culture: “The undertone and foundation of any great organization.”
An essential aspect of culture is to embrace the Air Force core values by living them every day.
“The core values are foundational for success as an Airman, and as a human being,” Jones said. “We must treat each other with dignity and respect and allow Airmen and families to thrive and be the best version of themselves.”
Within this concept, Jones aims to further develop Airmen of character who will not only elevate their own performance but will look to lift others while executing our mission and living in our communities.
The Air Force has a dynamic mission and diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion ensure that all Airmen not only have a seat at the table, but that their voices are heard as well.
“You need to understand the value of your voice and your ideas,” Jones said. “As we go forward, we want to hear your ideas, and we need to hear your voice.”
Finally, Jones said the last two focus areas of the 86th AW culture are standards and discipline, and customs and courtesies.
“The sacred cloth Airmen and service members wear makes them different than the Nation they serve, which comes with the necessity to establish and enforce standards and discipline every day. We must also understand that proper customs and courtesies are important. They engender good order and discipline in our units and build the foundation for self-discipline,” said Jones. “Practicing and enforcing these standards in peacetime builds trust and confidence that if and when conflict arises, we have the discipline to execute our mission.”
Ultimately, Jones believes that with the new mission, vision and priorities, Team Ramstein will continue to succeed at every challenge they may face.
“I see some awesome things happening in 2023 and the team will continue to crush every piece of that mission set that we’re asked to execute,” Jones said. “Anytime, anywhere.”
The 86th AW, and the Airmen who execute the Global Gateway mission every single day, are essential to combat readiness and airlift operations throughout Europe and beyond.