Finding FOD

Col. Cameron Torrens, 86th Airlift Wing vice commander, recently appointed Tech. Sgt. Ryan Rubenstein to be the FOD manager at Ramstein. He is responsible for keeping the flight line free of debris that might upset the aircraft.

***image1***At the new FOD checkpoint at Mitchell Avenue, motorists who cross the flight line need to stop and check their tires for loose debris, including rocks. Do not toss the debris on the flight line. Instead, put it in the car until you can dispose of it later. Meanwhile, Sergeant Rubenstein will be out there on patrol, making sure FOD, Foreign Object Debris, does not cause FOD, Foreign Object Damage, to the million-dollar aircraft flying in and out of Ramstein.

What’s the weirdest FOD you’ve ever found?
People have found cell phones and even data card readers, which look like giant calculators.

What does FOD stand for?
Foreign Object Damage/Debris (debris is what you pick up, damage is what it does.)

What truth about yourself would you like people to know?
I’m straightforward, no fluff.

How can FOD be dangerous?
FOD causes the aviation industry nearly $4 billion annually. If FOD costs the Air Force just a fraction of this, and we can prevent it, then it would be a huge savings.

What should motorists do when they cross the flight line?
Always stop and inspect your vehicle prior to crossing an active taxiway or entering the flight line; inspect the tires for rocks, screws, nails, etc.

How fast does the yellow FOD Buster mobile go?
Zero to 25 mph in 8 seconds, with a tail wind. I offer incentive rides upon request.

What’s your working relationship with the Falcon?
I’ve never met the Falcon. He won’t return my calls.

What movie would you star in?
The Fast and the Furious (I’m working on getting a drift kit for the FOD Buster mobile.)

What is never missing from your fridge?
Flav-O ice.

How many miles a day do you put on the FOD mobile?
That depends on if I’m driving to Sembach or Chievres, Belgium. On a normal day on Ramstein’s flight line, it’s about five to 10 miles.
What is your favorite activity during the day?
Pimpin’ the FOD Buster.

If you were organizing a dinner to which you could invite five people from any place and any era, whom would you invite?
Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Mark Martin (I’d even let him drive the FOD Buster mobile) my wife, and the Falcon.

Your favorite saying?

Which meal can you prepare yourself?
Anything grilled.

What do you do with the FOD?
I sell it on eBay.

How’s your street cred?
It’s all good. They see the yellow cart roll and step. It’s all about respect. Not everyone can pull off Plexiglass windows and six-inch rims.