86th Airlift Wing leadership holds first all-calls

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Josh Olson, 86th Airlift Wing commander, speaks to Airmen at an all-call at Ramstein Air Base, Sept. 30. Wing leadership discussed their lives, wing priorities, expectations for the future, and COVID-19.

The 86th Airlift Wing command team set aside two days last week to host their first all-calls since their arrival at Ramstein Air Base.

Brig. Gen. Josh Olson, 86th AW commander, and Command Chief Master Sgt. Hope Skibitsky discussed their lives, wing priorities, expectations for the future, and COVID-19.

“This is the biggest base on the globe from a combat employment (standpoint),” Olson said. “We have to defend the base.”

The command team held a total of six all-calls during the two days. Approximately 150 Airmen from each group attended in person and adhered to host nation hygiene requirements. Airmen also had the opportunity to view each all-call virtually from their work centers to promote physical distancing.

Olson and Skibitsky began each event by sharing photo collages of their past experiences and talked about how those experiences influenced their lives and values today.

“Put your energy and focus on things that you find important,” Skibitsky said. “We all have to remember that at the end of the day, whether you serve for 24 years or 34 years, who do you want sitting on the left side of the front row when it’s time for you to hang up the hat? To me, my family is who I want with me at the end.”

Olson continued the all-call by discussing Airmen’s expectations of leadership, such as respect, mentorship and accountability.

“Chief and I are accountable for both the successes and failures of this wing,” Olson said. “(With) successes we’ll be at the mountaintop cheering you on. We’re also accountable for the failures to give you the resources and the mentorship to (help) understand them.”

Olson also listed his expectations for 86th AW Airmen, such as having good attitudes, and having pride in themselves and their workplaces.

U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Hope Skibitsky, 86th Airlift Wing, speaks to Airmen at an all-call at Ramstein Air Base,  Sept. 30. Skibitsky encouraged Airmen to stay healthy and recommended ways to be safe from COVID-19.

”You have the greatest job on the planet,” Olson said. “Look sharp, be sharp. We are professionals.”

Olson also emphasized the importance of asking for help when in need and taking care of each other. He shared a personal story about losing a fellow Airman and reminded everyone to always check in on their wingman.

The 86th AW leadership ended their all-calls by holding question and answer sessions with Airmen. Many Airmen asked questions about the upcoming exercise, plans for Halloween night and childcare facility operations.

Skibitsky discussed the importance of the “3 Ws” in regards to keeping safe from COVID-19.

“If complacency sets in, risk increases,” Skibitsky said. “Wear a mask, wash your hands and watch your distance. We have to continue to encourage people to do that so we can get on the other side of the (virus).”

Olson ended the event by committing to make an even better Ramstein Air Base and thanking Airmen for their service.