Airlifter of the Week: 786th CES Airman saves restaurant, receives honor


by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Mark Baldon, front center, 786th Civil Engineer Squadron water and fuel systems maintenance craftsman, takes a group photo with his squadron after receiving the Airflifter of the Week award on Ramstein Air Base, Aug. 22. The Airlifter of the Week program recognizes Ramstein Airmen who, through their hard work and dedication, make the 86th Airlift Wing the “World’s Best Wing.” Photos by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker

A 786th Civil Engineer Squadron water and fuel systems maintenance craftsman received the honor of being Ramstein’s Airlifter of the Week, Aug. 22.

Scott Lockard, 86th Airlift Wing vice director, lauded U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mark Baldon for his actions, which kept a base restaurant open. Baldon ensured the only Romano’s Macaroni Grill on the continent was environmentally compliant by designing, creating, and installing a temporary industrial grease removal system which his leadership described as “ingenious.” The system services the world’s largest Army and Air Force Exchange Service Base Exchange and more than two million customers annually.


Staff Sgt. Mark Baldon, 786th Civil Engineer Squadron water and fuel systems maintenance craftsman, poses with a band saw in his shop on Ramstein Air Base, Aug. 22. Baldon received Airlifter of the Week for his actions, which prevented Romano’s Macaroni Grill from closing on Ramstein.

Baldon stepped up and led a nine-Airman team, who routed more than 300 feet of waste pipe, and completed the task 72 hours ahead of schedule.
Baldon also helped reduce the water and fuel systems maintenance section’s workload by more than 1,000 man hours by managing Ramstein’s Waste Water Lift-Station Program.
Lockard praised Baldon and the 786th CES for their preventative maintenance, which he said saves the Air Force a vast number of man hours and money.
The Airlifter of the Week program recognizes Ramstein Airmen who, through their hard work and dedication, make the 86th AW the “World’s Best Wing.”