Story and photos by
Airman 1st Class Noah D. Coger
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
A member of the 700th Contracting Squadron’s Constructions Flight received the honor of being coined Airlifter of the Week, Aug. 8.
Chief Master Sgt. Ernesto J. Rendon Jr., 86th Airlift Wing command chief, and vice director Scott C. Lockard surprised Staff Sgt. William Underhill at his office on Kapaun Air Station to recognize his excellent work.
Underhill recently deployed to Morocco in support of the multi-nation partnership mission, African Lion 19. He was the sole contingency contracting officer where he coordinated 10 contracts for everything from lodging, fleet vehicles, generators, and heavy equipment that supported more than 200 personnel during their operations.
That task might overwhelm some, but Underhill’s leadership said making the hard appear easy is just one of his many strengths.
“He is very personable and easy to approach and when you start picking his brain, you realize he also has this talent of articulating something very complex into very simple terms,” said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Gill, Flight Chief, the supervisor who nominated Underhill. “So, whether it’s someone new in our career field or a mission commander who may not understand our processes, he has a way of explaining things so that everyone in the room can understand. He’s an awesome member of the team and I’m looking forward to watching him continue to do great things.”
The contracts that Underhill fulfilled were essential to the success of the mission and earned him the Best Mission Support Award which he received from the Moroccan base commander and the Air Force mission commander.
“He took his knowledge and the solid reputation he helped our squadron earn and passed it on as we continued to support those flying training missions,” said Gill.
“We couldn’t be more proud of his work on the recent African Lion mission in Morocco,” said Lockard. “In a one-man position, he really helped make amazing things happen on behalf of our Air Force and our nation. It’s no surprise that his leadership decided to nominate him as Airlifter of the Week.”
As well as being personable, Underhill also remains very humble and credits his leadership with giving him the tools to succeed. “It’s always good to be recognized but really, Tech. Sgt. Gill and Tech. Sgt. Schleckser really took me under their wing and helped me out a lot when I got to Morocco. They were always really responsive if I had questions and able to help coordinate things so there was no mission stoppage.”
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.”