86th AMS claims USAFE commander’s trophy

***image1***The 86th Air Mobility Squadron won the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Commander’s Trophy, beating out 157 other units in direct support of flying operations.  

This relatively small squadron – only 65 members – deployed to 32 countries last year and logged a cumulative 7,271 days on the road. They moved more than 12 million pounds of cargo for combatant commanders from Africa to Eastern Europe to the Middle East.

During the crisis in Lebanon the 86th  AMS deployed a team to Cyprus and helped 14,000 Americans depart, the largest such operation since the Korean War. The 86th AMS moved several battalions of African Union peacekeepers into Rwanda and the Darfur region of Sudan.

The squadron also supported taskings in the European Command, including airfield surveys, strategic airlift support and  Special Operations Command missions in the Trans-Sahara region of Africa.

In a congratulatory letter to the squadron, Maj. Gen. James Hunt, USAFE director of air and space operations wrote, “This award recognizes your extraordinary accomplishments which greatly contributed to the success of the 86th Airlift Wing and USAFE (and) consistently showcased innovations that are now the standard in USAFE and NATO.”

The 86th AMS is one of three squadrons assigned to the 86th Contingency Response Group and provides expeditionary “base opening” capabilities for USAFE as well as airfield survey and air operations support at forward operating locations worldwide. They are a team of cross-functionally trained Airmen representing specialties from across the Air Force.

 “While everyone in the 86th AMS has to be an expert in their specialty, everyone is also a shooter, operates vehicles and can function in a deployed, often austere environment – and we have to do it all at night in blacked out conditions,” said Lt. Col. Rob Redanz, 86th AMS commander. (Story courtesy of the 86th AMS)