86 OSS Airman shines in the night

Senior Airman Evan Hadnot, 86th Operations Support Squadron airfield management shift lead, reports his airfield position to air traffic control on Ramstein Air Base, Jan. 10. One of his many responsibilities is visually checking all runway lighting systems every night to help ensure the safety of arriving and departing aircraft.

Airmen filter out through the office door and into the darkness. It’s the end of the work week, and the building gradually empties. The busy, fluctuating noise of the workplace is replaced by the steady hum of computers and monitors, only to be broken by the occasional report over a two-way radio. One Airman enters the building, coming out of the darkness and into the fluorescent-lit hallway. He greets the leaving personnel with smiling eyes and a mustache-lined grin. His joyful spirit and ambitious nature do not seem typical of a night-shift worker.

“He finds humor and positivity in just about anything,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Catrell Wilson, 86th Operations Support Squadron airfield manager. “I’ve never seen someone, as a Senior Airman, that just looks at a position or looks at a situation on the airfield so dynamically.”

The Senior Airman walks up to one of the few remaining Airmen sitting at a desk, who eagerly enquires, “Shift change?” The day-shift service member’s hopeful look is met with an assuring nod and he proceeds to brief the recently-arrived night-shift lead on the day’s events.

The two switch places, and the 86th OSS mission continues.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Evan Hadnot, 86th OSS airfield management shift lead, was recognized as Airlifter of the Week for his airfield knowledge, professionalism, and work supporting overall mission execution, Jan. 9.

A Dallas, Texas native, Hadnot is known for conducting himself in a state of readiness to respond to and fulfill any airfield requests that come to the 86th OSS, Wilson said.

When U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Ramstein in October 2019, Hadnot’s efforts were integral to a seamless foundation for the after-duty-hours arrival of the aircraft.

“We immediately started doing our checklists,” Hadnot said. “My counterpart assisted me with making sure all services were taken care of prior to him landing, and making sure that a ramp freeze was in effect whenever he landed, so there were no issues and he could get on the ground safely.”

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark R. August, 86th Airlift Wing commander, coins Senior Airman Evan Hadnot, 86th Operations Support Squadron airfield management shift lead, for being named Airlifter of the Week at Ramstein Air Base, Jan. 9.

Hadnot also provided flight planning and coordination of airfield space for the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft assigned to the 116th Air Control Wing, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, during the unit’s temporary deployment here.

“When they first came here they did not have any way to file their flight plans, so we provided any help that we could for them to get their own process set up,” Hadnot said. “Whether it be flight plans, delaying their flight plan, canceling it, things of that nature, we’ve been assisting them from behind the scenes, so they can get their mission done.”

In-depth airfield knowledge is another way Hadnot supports operations. When the Defense Threat Reduction Agency came to evaluate Ramstein’s airfield security and safety, Hadnot was a key point-person.

He provided a 2-hour airfield tour, pre-researched scenarios and a detailed assessment to DTRA for their evaluation, Wilson said.

Service before self is one of the many qualities Hadnot exemplifies, and it is not limited to his support of airfield operations. He also makes efforts to build unit camaraderie by stepping up to lead functions such as the squadron’s Halloween event.

“Halloween is my favorite holiday because it’s the one time of the year people can change who they want to be, and kids can go out and have some care-free fun without anything really crazy going on,” Hadnot said. “I thought maybe we could have a haunted house for the kids and give them a safe environment to go trick-or-treating. Each section in the building, including the fire department, provided their own theme for the event, and we provided food and refreshment for the families, so parents didn’t have to pay for dinner.”

The consideration Hadnot shows for his fellow Airmen, and the relentless hard work he puts in every day, or in his case, night, help drive the Ramstein mission forward. The mission doesn’t sleep, and because of Airmen like Evan Hadnot, neither does the “World’s Best Wing.”