Operations squadron wins 6 major command awards

Senior Airman Janel Phillips
435th Operations Support Squadron

“Herky 03, 1-4 miles East of Ramstein, fly heading 2-4-0, maintains at or above 4,000 until established on the localizer, cleared I-L-S runway 2-7 approach.”
Say again? It may sound like Chinese to most people, but phraseology like this keeps the pulse of Ramstein’s airfield safely pumping, and the efforts of the 435th Operations Support Squadron are not going unnoticed.
Ramstein’s 435th OSS (formerly Air Operations Flight under the 86th OSS) earned an amazing six major command-level annual awards for 2003: Airfield Management Facility of the Year, the D. Ray Hardin Air Traffic Control Facility of the Year, the Colonel Derrel L. Dempsey Air Traffic Control Officer of the Year, Airfield Management Senior NCO of the Year, Terminal Instrument Procedures Specialist and Air Traffic Controller of the Year.
“This happened because of the superb, talented people we have in our squadron,” said Lt. Col. Clifford Puckett, 435th OSS commander. He said the team has done a great job under very challenging circumstances and is now receiving all the credit it deserves.
The 435th OSS is currently overseeing the largest airfield construction project in U.S. Air Forces in Europe. Part of the Rhein-Main Transition Program includes more than a $400 million face-lift at Ramstein that will result in two runways, expanded aircraft parking ramps and state-of-the art lighting, navigational aids, rivaling that of premier stateside facilities.
Despite a 50 percent loss of airfield capability, more than 100 military and civilian construction workers in and around the airfield, and constant changes to aircraft routing and restrictions, Airfield Management and Air Traffic Control supported more than 20,000 operations with a stunning safety record – zero mishaps involving controllers.
“I can’t tell you how incredibly proud I am of everyone,” said Colonel Puckett.