When I found out I was going to be the Commander of the 86th Mission Support Group, I was beyond excited and knew I had landed my dream assignment. I had always wanted to lead a dynamic group in a challenging location, and really make a difference … then BAM! Welcome to Ramstein! Since arriving in June 2021, I have been in awe of our Mission Support Group and the tremendous impact our mission sets have on Team Ramstein, the ingenuity and resiliency of our teammates, and just how special each and every one has been as I got to know all ~3,500 of us.
This spring, I sat down with our leadership team and wanted to get after three priorities: Taking care of People, Customer Service, and Culture and Heritage. Together we decided to get after Culture and Heritage first, instilling pride in our teammates, our mission and our Air Force. Knowing that pride will carry into everything we do, we will Take care of People and provide the best Customer Service in the Air Force. To get started, we created a MSG Heritage Team. They worked hard to define, build, and brand what we SEE in YOU every day. Their efforts are on display and showcased in the design of our new 86 MSG patch.
The focal point of the patch is the Greek Titan God, Atlas. Atlas was tasked with holding up the universe upon his shoulders. He is a warrior, just like our MSG team who is tasked to hold up all of Team Ramstein and the Global Gateway. The castle behind Atlas represents our physical footing here in Germany, while grounding us in the Air Force core values. The American and German flags illustrate unity with our host nation and coalition partner. The constellation of 7 stars represent the seven units in the MSG, and serves as a reminder that we are Stronger Together. The stars also mirror the European Union flag and capture the support we provide to NATO and other mission partners throughout Europe. The globe embodies our presence beyond Germany and Europe, as our influence and mission sets reach across, and into, every continent of the world. The three deltas represent the three wings we support in the Kaiserslautern Military Community. They also represent the three aircraft flown by the 86th Airlift Wing. Finally, the deltas remind us we have United States Space Force Guardians on our team. The V-shaped contrails nest us within the 86th Airlift Wing and their motto of “VIRTUS PERDURAT” which means Enduring Courage. Finally, the Polaris (North Star) between ΑΤΛΑΣ ∆ΥΝΑΤΟΣ & ATLAS STRONG is the brightest star in the sky; it serves as our True North — a reminder to not only do things right, but to always do the right thing.
There are FIVE components to being ATLAS STRONG:
Airmen are our Family: We are stronger together, and will always be there for each other.
Team of Teams: We embrace our differences, and know we are the BEST at what we do.
Leaders at every level: No matter where you sit in the MSG, we rely on you to ensure mission success.
Accountable/Action Oriented: Be accountable to each other. Do not be afraid to take action and make decisions.
Share our Story: Just as Atlas’ story lives on in Greek mythology, our stories will live forever.
As I go into my second year as the 86th MSG commander, I will never forget why I came here: To make a difference in people’s lives. A few years down the road, people may not remember me, but I know they will know where and why ATLAS STRONG was born, and I will be so proud of that legacy. Thank you for giving me the motivation and honor to serve as the commander to the best mission support group in our Air Force.