Airlifter of the week: One Airman’s logistical adrenaline rush

Fluorescent lights hum as rain pelts against the windows of the vast room. Stillness reigns, brought on by thick, grey doors isolating the offices of the small building.

The environment is deceiving. Silence masks the action taking place at the 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

Who are the people who make the mission happen behind these thick, grey doors?

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tyler J. Cobb, 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron cargo deployment function and air passenger terminal section chief, smiles during a conversation with his team at a restaurant at Ramstein Air Base, Jan. 30. Cobb is team-oriented and attributes his success to his fellow Airmen and their dedication to the LRS mission. Photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Gonzales

“We control the missions for all contingencies out of here,” said Tech. Sgt. Tyler J. Cobb, 86th LRS section chief of cargo deployment function and air passenger terminal. “If it’s deploying out of here, we touch it, which is outstanding because you get to see everything before it goes into the fight.”

As section chief, Cobb’s role includes ensuring his team is set up for success.

“I manage day-to-day operations and make sure these guys that are doing all the hard work are being taken care of,” Cobb said. Furthermore, he makes certain that his team is meeting training requirements and increasing their capabilities for any future taskings.

Since Dec. 31, 2019, Cobb’s team has moved 110 cargo tons and 424 passengers supporting real-world operations across three different combatant commands: European Command, Central Command, and Africa Command. Cobb also activated his team to support a no-notice deployment of the European Command’s commander response force team. The start of the New Year was an exciting time for him, and it was an opportunity to witness the team’s dedication to the mission.

“When the beginning of the year kicked off, it was crazy,” Cobb said. “I got the phone call saying the team of heroes was ready to move and they were on their way. I immediately messaged our group and people that weren’t even supposed to be working that day just showed up to push out to the fight.”

When it comes to the unexpected, readiness is a top priority for Cobb, and the rush he gets from rapidly responding to a situation is something he enjoys.

“Whenever stuff kicks off, it’s go time, everybody’s ready to move, move, move — that feeling is beyond anything,” Cobb said. “I love that high-tempo environment.”

The satisfaction of working in such an environment is something he didn’t get in the civilian world. With a quiet snicker and small smirk, he recounts his years before the military.

“When I was younger, I wanted to join the military, but my family sort of talked me into going to school,” Cobb said. “I went to community college and I was doing pretty well at it but, I just wasn’t getting the satisfaction out of it that I do with this job.”

Since joining, he’s enjoyed the jobs he’s had. Initially, he started in maintenance but was retrained into logistics. Before his current position, he was the non-commissioned officer in charge of the LRS Aerial Delivery section. There were 11 Airmen on his team and they were constantly going on temporary duties. Cobb genuinely thinks of them as family.

“It’s definitely a family down there and leaving them pulled at my heartstrings,” he said with a wince as he slapped his curled fingers over his heart.

It’s obvious Cobb is team-oriented and wants to ensure they’re ready no matter the circumstances. However, he, as well as his team, are very aware of just how important their mission is.

“I know for us, if we fail, the mission doesn’t go out on time and it just compounds downrange,” Cobb said. “They’re not getting the supplies they need, the equipment, or the personnel. We understand the scope of our mission and that we need to complete it to the best of our abilities.”

Without Airmen such as Cobb and his team, Ramstein’s mission would slow down. They are part of what makes this the World’s Best Wing.