‘Iconic image’ of NCO found in 86 MXG; honored as Airlifter of the Week

by Technical Sgt. Nicholas Filip
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Tech Sgt. Gabriel Vest, 86th Airlift Wing Maintenance Group, training management noncommissioned officer in charge, shakes hands with Brig. Gen. Mark August, 86th AW commander, accompanied by Chief Master Sgt. Ernesto Rendon, 86th AW command chief, on Ramstein Air Base, March 7. Vest was named Airlifter of the Week, a program which recognizes Ramstein Airmen who are devoted to making the 86th AW the “World’s Best Wing.” Photo by Airman 1st Class Milton Hamilton

Brig. Gen. Mark R. August, 86th Airlift Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Ernesto Rendon, 86th AW command chief, highlighted Tech. Sgt. Gabriel Vest as an exemplary NCO, saying he is a model of how an NCO should act and perform their duties.

Vest’s performance, professionalism and discipline made him the clear choice as the maintenance expert to brief over 74 representatives from seven allied nations during the African Partnership Flight. In fact, the Rwandan Air Force leadership were so impressed by his presentation, they requested him by name to be added to USAFE A1/A5’s mobile training team focused on developing Rwandan aircraft maintainers.

“I’m just a small piece of the larger 86th maintenance group community,” said Vest. “The real recognition should go to the guys and gals I work with every day.”


August said Vest is an iconic image of what an NCO should look like. Rendon encouraged him to continue speaking the truth to leadership — continue being straightforward — and that he looked forward to seeing his career’s future progression.

The Airlifter of the Week program recognizes Ramstein Airmen who, through hard work and dedication, make the 86th AW the World’s Best Wing.