Local national keeps CRG aloft with selfless service

Staff Sgt. Damian Spaits
786th Security Forces Squadron
S-3 Airborne Operations

***image1***The man responsible for maintaining more than 1,200 aviation records for Air Force paratroopers and aircrew members at Ramstein and its associated units has been doing it for more than seven years now.
Until recently, Dieter Sourisseaux, an aviation resource manager with the 86th Operational Support Squadron, has never seen the end result of his work — the airdrop of paratroopers of the 86th Contingency Response Group.
“After talking to him last year, I realized that he’s never seen a jump. I knew that we had to show him an airborne operation up close so he can see the end result of all the work he does for us” said Staff Sgt. Larry Knoll, 786th Security Forces Squadron Airborne Operations NCO In Charge.
As the focal point for maintaining one of the largest aircrew databases in U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Mr. Sourisseaux maintains control and accountability of Ramstein’s flight records and is responsible for generating aeronautical orders, logging aircrew hours and parachute jumps, monitors hazardous duty incentive pay entitlements, and ensures aircrew members meet all Air Force eligibility requirements.
The 786th SFS, part of the 86th CRG, conducted a joint airborne operation with the U.S. Army’s 5th Quartermaster Company recently and invited Mr. Sourisseaux to the drop zone. He was joined on the drop zone by his wife, Uli, and his supervisor, Senior Master Sgt. Doug Parton, superintendent of the 86th Operations Support Squadron, Aviation Resource Management.
The Ramstein based C-130 broke through the cloud cover as it headed to the drop zone. Just as it passed overhead, 41 combat-equipped jumpers exited the aircraft, streaming out both paratroop doors. As paratroopers quickly descended, Mr. Sourisseaux stated he was awestruck by the sight of the sky full of parachutes.
After the jumpers hit the ground and moved out for their rally points, Mr. Sourisseaux said, “It was really impressive. I just looked up and said wow. I can now visualize what the aircrew and jumpers are doing and what they go through. Although, I don’t know why they jumped because it appeared that the plane was working perfectly.”
He was delighted to finally see the fruits of his labor in action. And as a worker, Sergeant Parton said he is one of the best.
“Dieter is awesome. The quality of his work is always technically perfect. He is the consummate team player, always giving of his time to train the Airmen in our shop. He is a vital member of our flight and its success,” Sergeant Parton said.
Mr. Sourisseaux has been recognized as a team player, receiving many awards for his hard work and dedication. Adding to these prestigious awards, the paratroopers of the 786th SFS presented Mr. Sourisseaux with their own personal congratulations – an autographed poster of the 86th CRG members who made the combat jump into Bashur, Iraq during the opening phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a 786th SFS commanders’ coin.
When asked if he’d ever like to jump from an aircraft himself, Mr. Sourisseaux said “No! I’ll just stay right here on the ground and watch. You crazy guys can do that stuff.”