Dining In: 86th toasts the Grog

Capt. Jenny Lovett
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***The 86th Airlift Wing held its second annual combat dining Nov. 18 here in Hangar 1.

Approximately 550 Airmen from across the wing donned battle dress
uniforms and camo paint to team with their squadron buddies for an
evening of fun, camaraderie and grog bowl toasting.

“The 86th Airlift Wing has gathered to share in our common mission and
celebrate the incredible synergy we’ve built over the past two years,”
said Col. Robert Kane, 86th AW and KMC commander and the President of
the Mess. “I couldn’t be prouder of these guys because they epitomize
our motto ‘We got it!’”

Lt. Gen. Rod Bishop, U.S. Air Forces in Europe vice commander, was the
guest speaker and honored guest for the evening.  He praised the
Airmen for their hard work and dedication to the Air Force.

“You guys kick down the doors and allow us access to any location
within the AOR for strategic engagement,” he said.  “You flew over
8,000 sorties to 30 countries, extending the U.S. presence across all
of Europe.  I am honored to be among this crowd where motivation,
hard work, dedication to patriotism and a positive can-do attitude are
alive and well.”

In addition to the dinner, the four groups participated in a C-130 tire
rolling obstacle course hosted by the maintenance group, a wooden log
sit-up competition hosted by the contingency response group, ranger
pushups hosted by the air and space communications group and an
six-person air drop mission hosted by the operations group to determine
the 86th AW 2004 Warrior Group. The 86th Air and Space Communications
Group emerged victorious for the second year in a row.  

“The opening skit put on by the CRG was great,” said Capt. Johnny Hill,
86th ACOMG.  “Colonel Schafer (blindfolded) was taken hostage by
some (fake) terrorist who made demands – then, out of nowhere a team
ran (guns blazing blanks of course) in and eliminated the threat saving

“It was cool to see the level of camaraderie among all the different
wing units.  We’re a contingency response wing with all sorts of
capabilities and to have everyone together was an exciting
opportunity,” said Capt. Matt Waggoneer, 86th AW comptroller. “We’re
truly showing that we are one wing, one fight.”