by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Gonzales
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Airmen are familiar with the routine: a call comes from the Drug Demand Reduction Program office, and it’s off to take a drug test. What Airmen may not know is that it takes a team of dedicated professionals to ensure the testing is administered and accomplished according to Air Force standards.
Yessica Sutton, 86th Airlift Wing Drug Testing Program administrative manager, is one of those dedicated professionals working tirelessly behind the scenes. Her supervisors recognized her as the rock behind the 86th AW DDR program at Ramstein Air Base and its associated geographically separated units.
On a daily basis, she supports and trains three different program managers and installation augmentees. Sutton begins her day by prepping the office for daily testing. Once the list of people to be tested is generated, she’ll individually send a notification letter to every unit’s trusted agent via their Sharepoint. When samples are collected and quality checked by two different individuals, they are sent to Wilford Hall at Lackland Air Force Base for testing.
Sutton’s work goes beyond her office as she is utilized as an inspector general for other wings within the U.S. Air Forces in Europe command.
“Our DDR program overlooks more than 80 units to include GSUs, making the Ramstein DDR Program the biggest DDR program in USAFE,” said Sutton.
She routinely inspects each unit’s individual DDR program. In the event that someone tests positive, she goes on temporary duty to take part in court martials where she testifies on all of their DDR procedures.
For some, it may be a tough job, but Sutton seems to have found the silver lining.
“One of the best things I get to experience is meeting people from the entire 86th Airlift Wing,” said Sutton. “Whether they come to our office to provide a sample, or are performing observer duties to assist the DDR program, I really enjoy conversing with people from all backgrounds.”
The Airlifter of the Week program recognizes Ramstein Airmen who, through hard work and dedication, make the 86th Airlift Wing the World’s Best Wing.